Angell Woods is located in the north-west corner of the City of Beaconsfield, bounded by Highway 20 on the south, Highway 40 on the north, the Baie d’Urfé industrial park on the west and the new housing developments on the east. It is accessed by exiting at Woodland North from Highway 20.
The wooded areas of Angell Woods, together with the clearings and other green spaces surrounding and within the woods total approximately 100 hectares (250 acres) covering more than one third of a square mile.
Who owns Angell Woods?
Angell Woods is not a public park. While it was once owned by the Angell family, it is now owned in part by private land developers, in part by the government of Quebec and the Cities of Montreal and Beaconsfield and in part by the conservation agencies Ducks Unlimited and the Association for the Protection of Angell Woods.
What is special about Angell Woods?
Some 1600 hectares of green space on the island of Montreal is protected – as a park or otherwise. That number equates to approximately 3% of the island – significantly lower than the 8% which is seen as the international norm. An equivalent amount of 1600 hectares of “unprotected” woodlands also still exists on the Island of Montreal, but those unprotected woodlands are rapidly shrinking in the face of ever-expanding development. Angell Woods is the largest contiguous woodgrove among the unprotected 1600 hectares which has been identified as being of “ecological interest” by the City of Montreal’s “Atlas des Bois”. It has also been designated as an exceptional forest ecosystem (EFE) by the Ministry of Natural Resources.
What is Angell Woods like?
Angell Woods is a beautiful hardwood forest, containing Maples, Hickories, Birch, Cedar, Oak and Ash, many of which are over a century old. The woods are home to much wildlife, including endangered species such as the red-shouldered hawk, Cooper’s hawk and the brown snake. Large portions of the woods are valuable wetlands, housing countless different types of flora and fauna. The City of Montreal’s “Atlas des Bois” notes in particular the mature nature of the forest, its links to wetlands, and the fact that it serves as a refuge for rare species of plants and animals. The Woods are also criss-crossed with a network of trails, maintained by volunteers, which are enjoyed by hikers, dog-walkers and cross-country skiers all year round.
Is Angell Woods in danger?
Angell Woods remains under tremendous pressure for development. As recently as 2001, the City of Beaconsfield was exploring projects involving the construction of between 500 to 800 homes on the Angell Woods site. Very few other development sites still exist in the Western part of the Island of Montreal.