The Crane Gathering Space is Taking Shape

The outer structure of the Crane Gathering Space.

Building the First Placemaking Space Along the Credit Valley Trail

A large, rounded-shape wooden structure by a lake.
The outer structure of the Crane Gathering Space.

If you have visited Island Lake Conservation Area lately, you have probably noticed the incredible transformation happening along the southeast shoreline of the lake. The Crane Gathering Space is under construction and will soon be the northern trailhead of the Credit Valley Trail (CVT).

The Crane Gathering Space will be an inclusive space for community-building, teachings, ceremony and events. This is the first of seven key Indigenous cultural sites to be created along the CVT.

Inspiration for the Space

The Crane Gathering Space was developed by the CVT Indigenous Roundtable: an Indigenous community group leading the work to create spaces and educational experiences that connect trail users with the Indigenous history of the Credit River, as well as current Indigenous cultural practices.

The inspiration for the Crane Gathering Space comes from the Ajijaak Dodem (Crane Clan). In Anishinaabe tradition, the Ajijaak is known as an echo maker and is the speaker for the clans. Ajijaak is an announcer of things to come. The sandhill crane also uses Island Lake as a stopover site during its annual migration. Once the space is open to the public, lucky visitors may spot them at the pier by the Crane Gathering Space.

Stone walkway leads to an amphitheatre with stone seating surrounded by a wooden structure.
The flagstone walkway leading into the Crane Gathering Space.

Progress at the Crane Gathering Space

We’ve recently completed the cedar lattice “wing” of the crane, which encloses the ceremonial fire. It wraps around the space and extends out to the pier onto Island Lake.

Construction is almost complete and we look forward to its official opening this summer.

Wooden lattice structure along a pier with people walking across a snowy surface.
The lattice “wing” along the pier at the Crane Gathering Space.

The Crane Gathering Space at Island Lake Conservation Area will provide an opportunity to learn and make connections with Indigenous culture, heritage and nature in the Credit River Watershed. We gratefully acknowledge the time, wisdom and support of the CVT Indigenous Roundtable and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation for their invaluable leadership and teachings throughout the creation of the Crane Gathering Space.

This project received Government of Canada support through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). We also acknowledge the many community donations that made this project possible.

Stay up to date on the latest news, including the opening date, of the Crane Gathering Space.

By: Jamie Williams, Specialist, Marketing and Communications

Comments (1)

  1. congratulations to all involved in developing this great concept and beautiful result of indigenous consultations

    cranes have great migrations in china and europe that are followed by devoted birders!
    met a teenage male birder in india who had been sponsored for a trip to be present during time of migration by the local conservation area

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