PortsToronto’s “Duckling Docks” Return to Toronto Harbour

Toronto (May 2, 2022) – Today, PortsToronto crews deployed six duckling docks in the Toronto Harbour at Portland (3), York, Yonge and Jarvis slips. Designed in collaboration with the Toronto Wildlife Centre and painted by students at the Waterfront School, the Duckling Docks will provide an accessible resting platform for ducklings still growing their waterproof down throughout the spring.
PortsToronto is committed to the Toronto Harbour and doing what it can to make the Harbour safe, clean and enjoyable for residents and wildlife. In spring 2021, in response to reports of duckling drownings as a result of a lack of resting places within the Toronto Harbour, PortsToronto consulted with the Toronto Wildlife Centre on a “Duckling Dock” design and deployment strategy.
"Toronto Wildlife Centre is thrilled that PortsToronto will once again deploy these duckling docks in advance of the ducklings taking to the water this Spring,” said Andrew Wight, Rescue and Release Manager at Toronto Wildlife Centre. “This program is a simple solution to a problem that we have had in the harbour over the last few years which is a lack of places where waterfowl can exit the water to rest. This is particularly the case with ducklings which do not develop waterproof down until they are older and are more susceptible to fatigue and drowning as a result. These docks provide a place for them to rest as they navigate their way around the harbour and we are pleased that the program is back again this year.”
Each dock is a wooden platform, 12-inches wide and six-feet long attached to an existing floating dock or dock wall. The docks are equipped with a beveled edge and gritty surface to make it easier for ducklings to climb aboard.
This year, PortsToronto collaborated with students at the Waterfront School to decorate the duckling docks and ensure they are bright, easily visible and not mistaken for debris and removed.
Students at Waterfront School decorated six docks that will provide resting places for ducklings as they develop waterproof down throughout the spring.
“PortsToronto was excited to deploy the docks again this year and we are especially appreciative of the student at Waterfront School who turned the docks into pieces of floating public art,” said Deborah Wilson, Vice President Communications, PortsToronto. “The docks now serve a dual purpose of helping the duckling secure a place to rest, and also provide bright and colourful canvases within the slips where they are deployed.”
About PortsToronto
For more than 100 years PortsToronto has worked with its partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to enhance the economic growth of the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. PortsToronto owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which welcomed approximately 2.8 million passengers in 2019; the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada's largest freshwater marinas; and, Marine Terminal 52, which provides transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses at the Port of Toronto. PortsToronto is committed to fostering strong, healthy and sustainable communities and has invested more than $12 million since 2009 in charitable initiatives and environmental programs that benefit communities along Toronto's waterfront and beyond. PortsToronto operates in accordance with the Canada Marine Act and is guided by a board with representation from all three levels of government.
Media Contact:
Jessica Pellerin
Manager, Media Relations and Public Affairs
Cell: (647) 298-0585
E-mail: jpellerin@portstoronto.com