Thursday, June 09, 2022

Tommy Thompson Park on the Leslie Street Spit

The peninsula off Leslie Street continues to grow as concrete waste is still accepted into the landfill during weekdays, filling the man-made site since 1959 and adding to the original sand bar that existed when Toronto was still York. The southern part remains landfill while the northern part became Tommy Thompson Park which remains mostly naturalized. We even saw a beaver swimming alongside the shore looking for some trees to snack on.

There is a long, asphalt multi-use trail running the 5-km length of the spit, broken by a floating pedestrian bridge, perfect for cycling, hiking, roller blading or looking at nature. There is also pedestrian and nature trails along with an information kiosk and bathrooms with parking just off Unwin Avenue. Because the site is still a landfill it is closed to the public during the week and is open to the public evenings, weekends and holidays until 9pm.
A beaver swims along the shore 

From the park's website: "In the years between 1974 and 1983, the land base dramatically increased, as approximately 6,500,000 cubic metres of sand/silt were dredged from the Outer Harbour and placed at the spit. This resulted in the formation of the lagoons and sand peninsulas which now account for a significant proportion of the land base of Tommy Thompson Park. In 1979, another major expansion of land area took place, with the construction of an endikement on the lakeward side of the Headland. This provided protected cells for dredged material from the Inner Harbour and the Keating Channel."
The end of the spit features a circular pathway around the point and the rounded bricks, blocks and other concrete waste that provides a break wall to the pounding of Lake Ontario's waves. Interspersed in the waste are the metallic tentacles of rebar poking out along the water's edge. People have taken to building temporary brick structures and art forms based on bricks and blocks pierced by the rebar.

People were making tall towers from the construction materials used in the landfill, however as they were slightly dangerous they have been removed by the park.

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