The McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve

The McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve, located behind GM Canada headquarters building, is open to the public for the enjoyment of wildlife habitat and day use activities.  Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and skating are favorite pastimes during the winter, while cycling, walking/hiking, birdwatching and photography are more popular during the warmer months.  One of the goals of the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve Master Plan was to create an area where people and wildlife could co-exist in harmony.

With almost 7 km of walking and cycling trails, the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve provides not only access to the varied habitats to explore and vistas to enjoy, but also serve to link existing trails from Darlington Provincial Park and the Second Marsh Wildlife Area. Trails within the Reserve are also linked to a strategic network of walkways which make up the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail. The Waterfront Trail (spearheaded by Waterfront Regeneration Trust) will eventually link all of the waterfront communities from Niagara to Gananoque.

The Dogwood trail at McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve, designed in consultation with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, provides an opportunity for partially-sighted or visually-impaired individuals to share in the delights of nature. A "multi-sensory" trail, suitable for anyone visiting the Reserve, it is a 490 m loop with hard, granular surface suitable as well for wheelchairs. It features a guide-rope, with panels in Braille and large-lettered text situated at strategic intervals along the route. Visitors are able to learn about the wildlife and natural history of the area using their senses of touch, smell and hearing.

For the protection of wildlife and habitat and enjoyment by others using the trails, the following ethics and code of conduct must be observed.

  • No dogs allowed (except certified guide dogs)
  • No alcoholic beverages
  • No firearms
  • No motorized vehicles
  • No fires or camping
  • No excessive noise
  • No littering

Abuses can be reported to General Motors' Security Provider (905) 644-7091. Serious offenses should be reported to Durham Regional Police.

You can access Second Marsh Wildlife Area, trails and viewing platform from the west parking lot. From the east parking lot you can access the main trail and the Dogwood Trail for the visually impaired within the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve.

General Motors of Canada Company’s initiatives have proven to be an excellent example of stewardship and how business, the community and governments can work together to preserve the natural environment. We would like to acknowledge Friends of Second Marsh for their gracious support and expertise throughout the years.