Founder - Philip R. Gosling C.M., LL.D.

Like many before him, in his early adult years Philip Gosling was captured by the wonders of the natural world while participating in a summer camp experience.  Philip took that sense of wonder, nurtured it and paid it due respect through a life-long endeavor of service to conservation.

Over the years he has provided leadership through his role as a director for the Federation of Ontario Naturalists (FON), Chairman of the FON Nature Reserve Committee and through other endeavors, but his most significant role was in helping to found the Bruce Trail in the early 1960's following the inspiration of visionary naturalist Ray Lowes.

Taking this idea through to action, he set out to identify, motivate and recruit the volunteers who would work with him to establish the 800-km route that is now the Bruce Trail.  In that first year the Bruce Trail went from a concept to having over 400 km completed.  This early work, inspired by Philip's appreciation as a naturalist, significantly contributed to the broad recognition of the importance, protection and preservation of the Niagara Escarpment and its eventual designation as an UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

While pursuing his interest in natural history Philip has observed over 3000 bird species and their natural habitats in travels to all seven continents.

Professionally Philip took an early interest in real estate, developing it into a career that included property appraisal, management and consultancy.  He applied his business acumen in other areas as well, successfully playing a significant role in the development of the Ontario microbrewery industry.

Philip's contributions and recognition include:

  • Member of the Order of Canada, 2013, for his crucial contributions to the creation of Ontario's Bruce Trail and for his philanthropic devotion to the natural world.  
  • Mayor of Guelph Citizen Award, 2009
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws-honoris causa (LLD), University of Guelph, 2008
  • Honorary President Bruce Trail Conservancy
  • Certificate of Appreciation, Province of Ontario
  • Natural Heritage Award, 1982 
  • A founder of the Bruce Trail
  • Founding Chairman, Nature Reserves Committee, Federation of Ontario Naturalists

In appreciation of the opportunities that Ontario has provided, Philip established the Gosling Foundation to further support, protect and share his joy in our wildlife and the natural world.