Located on a man-made peninsula, Tommy Thompson park is only a few minutes drive from downtown, it is also over 500 hectares and extends 5 kilometers into Lake Ontario.
Originally built as a breakwater, construction of the peninsula began in 1950’s, as Toronto expected an expansion to its existing harbours, thankfully, due to modern containerization technology, the project soon became unnecessary.
However the need for a headland remained and during the 60’s and 70’s development in Toronto exploded, and the Leslie Street Spit, as it’s called, became a convenient disposal site for tons of rubble and earth produced from building projects in the city.
TTP was created as nature had already begun reclaiming the peninsula’s open spaces. In fact, the park has some of the largest natural habitats within Toronto: Cottonwood forests, wildflower meadows, coastal marshes, sand dunes and cobble beaches are just some of the habitats to explore.
Wildlife, especially birds, have flourished and during the Spring and Fall, you can find yourself among hundreds of different flocks migrating overhead and it’s one of the best nature watching areas in the GTA. As more than 300 species of birds have been identified, 45 of which breed in the park.
TTP is a great break from the commotion of the city and have an impromptu picnic. Remember for some great views of the city, stick to shores facing west. Those are some of my favourite spots!