Today’s Poll

Nature remains a restorative force for pandemic-weary Canadians

Nature Conservancy of Canada
By Nature Conservancy of Canada
February 1st, 2022

Canadians are continuing to seek refuge in the outdoors to help cope with the stress and anxiety of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With another round of restrictions and closures being introduced in many provinces, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) says it is important for our physical, mental and emotional well-being to connect with nature.

A new Ipsos Public Affairs poll conducted for NCC reveals that 82 per cent of the people surveyed are spending time in nature. Thirty-seven per cent said they are spending more time outdoors compared to their lives before the pandemic began in March 2020. Among respondents, women, young people and young families were most likely to be spending more time outside.

“Nature is our ally. Spending time in nature can help reduce stress and make us feel better emotionally, while also contributing to physical wellbeing,” said Ginny Hudson, manger of conservation planning and stewardship with NCC in British Columbia.

“Even going for a short walk in nature can bring a sense of calm and help improve our moods and concentration.” 

“These findings underscore why protecting and having access to nature is important and helps all of us,” said François Duclos, senior advisor for visitor-use planning with NCC.

“Many Canadians are turning to nature reserves, trails, green spaces and parks for physically distanced outdoor activities. People want to safely connect with others or to get out for some sunlight and a walk, hike, run or bike ride. They are embracing opportunities to get fresh air, exercise, feel a sense of calm and take a break from increased telework and screen time.”

Of the 18 per cent of people who said they are spending less time in nature, one-third indicated they were following their provincial health guidelines and staying close to home. Lack of access was a barrier for many who said they require transportation or don’t have natural spaces close to where they live. Others said they simply don’t have time.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is providing people with tips on how to make the best of nature outings during winter. A list of useful suggestions to stay warm and safe is attached.

About NCC

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation’s leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to conserve 15 million hectares,  coast to coast to coast. To learn more, visit


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