“Moose on the Loose” at Pearson

The G8 and G20 summits being held in Huntsville and Toronto provide a unique opportunity to showcase for world visitors some of Ontario’s rich natural heritage. Last month, Ontario Parks set up a number of displays at Pearson International Airport on things to do and see in the province’s protected areas, including viewing moose in Algonquin Provincial Park.

Adding the key element to the 30-foot long display on Algonquin involved driving the stuffed adolescent bull moose from Bancroft to the airport, wheeling it past the surprised looks of employees and travellers, and gently depositing it beside the full-length canoe that shares the display.

Algonquin Provincial Park is one of the best places in Ontario – maybe even in North America – to see moose. Each year in May and June, moose take advantage of the slightly salty water found in roadside ditches along Highway 60 to satisfy their appetite for sodium. The elevated sodium levels are due to winter salting and sanding operations.

Other smaller displays at the airport relate to viewing wildlife such as pine marten, fishing in parks with a range of baits and lures and Aboriginal story-telling in pictographs and petroglyphs.

Guests who stay in Huntsville don’t have far to go to possibly see a live moose and take in the natural beauty of Algonquin. The park is just a half hour drive away along Highway 60. But for those flying out of Toronto who didn’t have time to drive the 250 kilometres from Pearson to Algonquin, they can just check out the moose and other interesting artifacts in the Ontario Parks display in the Departures Lounge in Terminal 1.