TORONTO, May 11, 2013 /CNW/ - Waterfront Toronto and Toronto and Region
Conservation (TRCA), together with the Governments of Canada, Ontario
and the City of Toronto celebrated the official opening of improvements
to Tommy Thompson Park today as bird watchers gathered for the park's
annual Spring Bird Festival.
"Waterfront Toronto is pleased to be contributing to the improvement of
one of the most important natural areas on the Great Lakes," said Mark
Wilson, Chair, Waterfront Toronto. "The improvements to Tommy Thompson
Park help connect people with the lakefront to enjoy the beauty and
wonder of this unique urban wilderness."
Recognized globally as an Important Bird Area, Tommy Thompson Park has undergone significant natural area
enhancements, as well as the construction of three small buildings that
will support public gatherings, educational events and research. The
park itself is located on a man-made peninsula, known as the Leslie
Street Spit, which extends five kilometres into Lake Ontario and is
over 500 hectares in size. With more than 300-plus bird species
documented at the park and the spectacular sight provided by the annual
monarch migration, over 250,000 people visit the park each year to
enjoy the beauty of this unique urban gem.
"Our Government's investment is helping to transform the waterfront into
an area that is internationally recognized for its parks and open
spaces, design excellence and sustainable development," said the
Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance and Minister Responsible
for the GTA. "This project will enhance the quality of life for people
in the city and across the GTA."
"We are proud to support the revitalization of Toronto's waterfront,"
said Glen Murray, Ontario Minister of Infrastructure. "These
improvements to Tommy Thompson Park will benefit the community and the
park's plants and wildlife for decades to come."
"Tommy Thompson Park is a great success story in turning our waterfront
into a natural environment for residents to visit for recreation," said
Councillor Paula Fletcher, Ward 30, Toronto-Danforth. "These
improvements will encourage more people to come to the park and enjoy
all the waterfront has to offer."
The infrastructure components include the construction of a Staff Booth,
an Environmental Shelter and an Ecological Research Station. The three
small buildings emphasize an unobtrusive design and comply with the
city's bird-friendly development guidelines. The natural restoration
and habitat improvements include 7.0 kilometres of new primary and
secondary trails and 3.3 kilometres of new nature viewing trails, as
well as aquatic habitat improvements with over 1.2 kilometres of
shoreline restoration and 18.9 hectares of wetland habitat
TRCA is an integral partner in the revitalization of Toronto's
waterfront and was responsible for the planning and construction of the
"We are very excited that Phase I of the Tommy Thompson Park Master Plan
has been completed. With strong partners like Waterfront Toronto, we
will continue to make significant improvements to Toronto's
environment, making it a better place not only for plants and animals,
but for park users as well," said Brian Denney, CEO of Toronto and
As with all Waterfront Toronto projects, sustainability was a key
consideration when planning, designing and constructing the
improvements at Tommy Thompson Park. They were designed to support the
native ecology of the area, and include features that benefit residents
as well as improve the local aquatic and terrestrial habitats. The
buildings blend beautifully into their surroundings and the new trails
and structures defer to the natural habitat, offering visitors
opportunities to rest, interpret, interact with staff or take refuge
from the elements.
Constructed by the Toronto Port Authority in 1959, Tommy Thompson Park
represents millions of cubic metres of concrete, earth fill, dredged
sand and construction waste. The park features wildflower meadows,
cottonwood forests, coastal marches, cobble beaches and sand dunes.
Wildlife, especially birds and butterflies, flourish at the park.
Other recreational activities include hiking, cycling, rollerblading
The Governments of Canada and Ontario and the City of Toronto created
Waterfront Toronto to oversee and lead the renewal of Toronto's
waterfront. Public accessibility, design excellence, sustainable
development, economic development and fiscal sustainability are the key
drivers of waterfront revitalization.
SOURCE: Waterfront Toronto
For further information:
Tari Stork, Manager, Project Communications, Waterfront Toronto
T: 416-214-1344 x 279 / C: 416-414-1577 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Rowena Calpito, Supervisor, Media Management, Toronto and Region Conservation,
T: 416-661-6600 ext. 5632 / C: 416- 358-3446 / email@example.com