Leslie Street Spit and Tommy Thompson Park
Leslie Street Spit and Tommy Thompson Park provides an outdoor oasis just a short distance from Downtown Toronto
The Leslie Street Spit is a man made peninsula that extends for about 5 km into Lake Ontario. It provides a quiet place to walk and explore, offering some excellent views of the Toronto cityscape and the Historic Distillery District. The spit will provide lots of opportunities to capture great photographs for the wildlife photographer.
Construction of the peninsula was started late in the 1950s by the Toronto Harbour Commission to create a breakwater for an outer harbour. The need for an outer harbour never came to pass, however the Leslie Street Spit offered a convenient location for dumping the earth and rubble resulting from the many building projects in the rapidly developing city. Over the years, advocates for the spit have helped protect it's status as a natural conservation area. The northern portion has been designated as Tommy Thompson Park, while the southern half is still used for dumping. Eventually the entire area will become parkland. Presently the Spit is just open on weekends and holidays from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm in the summer and from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm in the winter. It is closed weekdays due to ongoing work and to help preserve its natural environment.
The Leslie Street Spit is now home to about 400 plant species along with cottonwood and poplar forests. There are over 300 bird species that can be found on the Spit, 45 of which breed there. There are no cars allowed on the Spit, so this is for 'walkers' and don't forget that it is closed on weekdays. Bring your camera!