Charles Joseph Sauriol

An esteemed son of Toronto,was born on this day in 1904: Naturalist Charles Joseph Sauriol (May 3, 1904 – December 16, 1995).

He was one-man conservation powerhouse - saving of many natural areas in Ontario and across Canada. It's so easy to feel connected to Sauriol; his diary entries are shared by on their fabulous twitter feed - a wonderful thing to follow. Charles Sauriol owned property in the Don River valley and was an advocate for the valley's preservation. Even as a teenager, he loved it, writing in an unpublished manuscript:

“The perfume I liked was the smell of a wood fire. Planting seed or trees was preferable to throwing one’s seed around recklessly... The dance floor I knew best was a long carpet of Pine needles.”

In 1927 he purchased a 40-hectare property at the Forks of the Don. He used this as a cottage, and every year, he and his wife and four kids stayed there during the summer. There were ducks, a goat, and a pet raccoon named Davy, who followed Sauriol around like a dog. At the end of his first summer at the cottage in Don Valley, Sauriol wrote about leaving the place he loved:

"With summer’s heat the weeks sped by, And springtime streams did all but dry. But days grew short and followed on, Oh, blissful memory of the Don. Of you we think with saddened heart, Our time is up and we must part."


As featured on
The Daily Gardener podcast:

Words inspired by the garden are the sweetest, most beautiful words of all.
Charles Joseph Sauriol
Charles Joseph Sauriol