Since the 1940s, the AWRS has been home to influential long-term ecological research and an inspiring classroom to thousands.
Founded in 1944, the AWRS was first an entity of the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests (now Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry). The facility and associated Wildlife Research Area of Algonquin Provincial Park was to serve as an outdoor lab for ecological research. Following provincial government budget cuts in the early 1980s, operations of the AWRS were assumed by numerous Ontario universities. The AWRS was incorporated as an independent Canadian not-for-profit organization in 2010.