Research and Monitoring Projects at Tommy Thompson Park

Tommy Thompson Park's history, biological diversity and location make it an ideal place to conduct research and monitoring. Research projects have been conducted by various agencies like the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Wildlife Service, as well as Toronto's strong academic community. Internationally, TTP has garnered interest related to habitat creation and restoration on "waste" land. Along with collaborative research, TRCA conducts its own monitoring in various areas related to the success of restoration and wildlife management endeavours.

A Selection of Research and Monitoring Projects
led by TRCA

  • Water sampling (ongoing)
  • Sediment sampling (ongoing)
  • Aquatic thermal monitoring (ongoing)
  • Biomonitoring using freshwater clams (annual)
  • Benthic community assessment (ongoing)
  • Fish community assessment (ongoing)
  • Fish tumour beneficial use impairment in the Toronto AOC (2003-2004)
  • Carp exclusion vegetation study (2003-2006)
  • Underwater habitat surveillance (2007)
  • Aquatic vegetation surveys (annual)
  • Marsh bird and amphibian monitoring (annual)
  • Snapping turtle study
  • Urban coyote study with Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (ongoing)
  • Reproductive success, morphological deformities and egg contaminant levels of colonial waterbirds on the Toronto waterfront (2004)
  • Double-crested Cormorant and Black-crowned Night Heron nest counts (annual)
  • Tree health in bird colonies (annual)
  • Ring-billed Gull monitoring of managed colony (annual)
  • Ring-billed Gull nest counts with the Canadian Wildlife Service (every 5 years)
  • Common Tern nest counts and habitat usage monitoring (annual)
  • Caspian Tern nest counts (annual)
  • Canada goose management (ongoing)
  • For TTPBRS research and monitoring studies please click here

A Selection of Collaborative Research and Monitoring Projects

  • Butterfly count – Friends of the Spit (annual)
  • Christmas bird count – Friends of the Spit (annual)
  • Winter waterfowl count – Friends of the Spit (annual)
  • Monarch butterfly migration – Don Davis (annual)
  • Understanding insect biodiversity: perspectives from the study of goldenrod herbivores – University of New Brunswick (2004)
  • Forest Assessment in bird colonies – University of Toronto (2005)
  • Double-crested Cormorant Diet – York University (2006-2007)
  • Double-crested Cormorant and Black-Crowned Night Heron interactions – York University (2006)
  • Embryonic viability of Herring Gulls – CWS (2004-date)
  • Stress responses and vitellogenin production in Herring Gulls – CWS (2004)
  • Microbial source tracking to determine fecal pollution – National Water Research Institute
  • Immune function in Herring Gulls – Wright State University, Ohio
  • West Nile virus, Avian influenza virus and Newcastle disease in Ring-billed Gulls – University of Guelph (2004)
  • Temperature fluctuations in manmade warmwater embayments in the Toronto harbour – University of Toronto (2006)
  • Factors affecting Northern pike home range size and habitat use in perturbed environments – University of Waterloo (2003)
  • Fish habitat along the Toronto waterfront: validation of the habitat alteration assessment tool – University of Waterloo (2005)

Hours of Operation

Weekdays: 4 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Weekends & Holidays: 5:30 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Tommy Thompson Park is open all holidays except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.



Tommy Thompson Park (TTP) is located at the base or foot of Leslie Street where it meets Unwin Avenue, south of Lake Shore Boulevard East.



Lake Ontario moderates TTP?s climate, with less heat & humidity in the summer and less snow in the winter than areas immediately north. Prevailing winds are westerly, with faster speeds and greater wind chill effects. Fogs forms twice as often at TTP than the rest of Toronto.