Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Wikipedia describes an environmental portrait as: "A portrait executed in the subject's usual environment, such as in their home or workplace, and typically illuminates the subject's life and surroundings." This is particularly true of Jason Ramsay-Brown, the Toronto native who is at home in the ravines of Toronto on which he has recently published a book.

Born in Toronto in 1973, Jason has travelled extensively, visiting such places as Iceland, most of Europe, lower and eastern Africa, Costa Rica, the Caribbean and North America from the Yukon in Canada to Texas.

Jason began his career building CD-ROM applications before moving to website creation when the internet was still something some people thought would never catch on. After years spent working as Technical Director at the MacLaren McCann advertising agency, he left to found Off to Market, a communications & marketing agency with his wife, also from the agency business.

Jason has been fascinated by Toronto's ravines ever since childhood, and has spent almost 20 years exploring them. When his daughter was four, she began to express an interest in the ravines, so he promised her a "summer of ravines." "We've spent countless weekends since hiking the trails together. Her constant curiosity lead me to dig deeper into their natural heritage and local history." Jason says of his inspiration for his book. He began to blog about the amazing places he had discovered which lead to an article in NOW Magazine and ultimately to his published work, *Toronto's Ravines and Urban Forests. 

Jason is also a volunteer on the Todmorden Mills Wildflower Preserve stewardship team, the Beechwood Wetland stewardship team, caretaker of a Monarch Waystation, and an active member of the Toronto Field Naturalists.  

JASON FUN FACT:  in 1992 I spent two months traveling around lower Africa with the great-grandson of Charles Darwin and the great-great-grandson of John Hanning Speke, the British explorer associated with discovering the source of the Nile river.

Jason's book can be found on Amazon here:


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