The Leslie Street Spit, also known as Tommy Thompson Park, is located at the foot of Leslie Street just minutes from Toronto’s downtown.
PortsToronto began creating the Spit in the 1950s through in-filling activities. Today, the Spit has become a significant natural area on the Toronto waterfront. The approximately 500-hectare site has been designated as an Environmentally Significant Area and was declared a globally significant Important Bird Area by Birdlife International in 2000.
Each year, PortsToronto removes approximately 30,0000 to 40,000 cubic metres of dredged material from the mouth of the Don River, with the goal of preventing future flooding and stemming the flow of unwanted material into Toronto’s Harbour which can pose a risk to boater navigation and public safety. Once removed from the channel bed, the muddy mixture of debris and sediment is transported by barge to the Leslie Street Spit for proper containment in what is called a “cell” or Confined Disposal Facility (CDF). Each of the cells located at the Spit were designed by PortsToronto to properly and safely contain natural material dredged from the Keating Channel.
Wetland Creation Project
In 2007, PortsToronto and TRCA completed the Cell 1 Wetland Creation Project, converting the CDF into a seven-hectare coastal wetland. Cell 1 is now home to marsh birds, including nesting Common Terns, turtles, amphibians, small mammals and native fish. Cell 1 has been very successful to date with reports of significantly increased fish populations and the return of pike and muskie to the harbour.
PortsToronto began sealing Cell 2 with a layer of clean fill in December 2014. Once Cell 2 is sealed, TRCA will begin planting native vegetation and wetland features to provide a new habitat for fish and wildlife, and expand the Spit’s recreational and natural features enjoyed by Torontonians. The development of Cell 2 into a wetland will take place in several phases and is expected to be complete by winter 2017/2018.
Additional information about the “Cell 2” wetland creation project is available at: www.tommythompsonpark.ca/cell2.
The final cell, Cell 3, continues to be used for dredged materials, with approximately 30 to 40 years of capacity remaining.
The Leslie Street Spit is open to specific fill materials Monday to Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. The general public is welcome to use the Spit for recreational purposes during the following hours:
Weekdays 4:30pm - 9:00 p.m.
Weekends & Holidays 5:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Open all holidays except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.
More information is available at www.tommythompsonpark.ca
Wondering what you can bring to the Spit? For more information see the Notice to Contractors and Truckers.
Do you have one?
A Power Vessel Operator’s Permit is required to operate a powered vessel in the Port and Harbour of Toronto.