- From May 24, 2024 the Toronto Zoo newly constructed boardwalk has a name - The David C. Onley Trail. -

A beautiful and accessible boardwalk within Zoo sprawling Rouge National Urban Park footprint dedicated in honour of the incredible life and legacy of David C. Onley, Ontarioโ€™s 28th Lieutenant Governor.

David C. Onley was a champion of accessibility. As Ontarioโ€™s first Lt. Gov. with a physical disability, he adopted accessibility as the overarching theme of his mandate.

"He was a wonderful champion for accessibility and also a resident of our community right here", - said Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie, Councillor, Scarborough-Rouge Park and Board of Management, Toronto Zoo. "We miss him dearly in the community and I'm so very appreciative of all the work that he has done in the area of accessibility."

David and his wife Ruth Ann raised their three sons in Scarborough, just a short distance from the Toronto Zoo, and enjoyed many visits here. This boardwalk will serve as a constant reminder to Zoo staff, volunteers, and guests about the importance of ensuring accessibility for all.

"Physical accessibility was crucial for our family to enjoy life together," - said Ruth Ann, David Onley wife. "David knew all too well the challenges, and he championed disability issues all his life. His faith optimism and terrific sense of humor made him a trailblazer with I can do attitude. He was both an inspiring role model and he himself an ardent supporter. He was always enthused by innovative work or technology that was done in our country to advance true inclusion and belonging."

Over the past few years, the Toronto Zoo has undergone major changes for the better, and now more areas in this most beloved park by Torontontonians are fully accessible to everyone. This year Toronto Zoo celebrates the 50th anniversary.

"We're just incredibly honored and proud today to dedicate this boardwalk to The Life and Legacy of David C. Onley, Ontario's 28th Lieutenant-Governor, by naming this the David C. Onley Trail", - said Dolf DeJong, CEO Toronto Zoo. "Milestone moments like this are important. They're a chance for us to reflect on where we've been, and also a chance to recalibrate, and think about where we're heading next, what are the next 50 years going to look like. And while none of us can say for sure, we all know that it starts with community. It starts with being a place that brings people together for us. Tthat means some much needed and long overdue upgrades to our site and this boardwalk," - said Dolf DeJong.

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