Tommy Thompson Park's Natural Heritage

From its origin as rubble and sand, Tommy Thompson Park has developed into a complex mosaic of habitats, which support a diverse community of flora and fauna species.

The complex of plant communities found at TTP, as well as the rare and significant plant species are a result of the highly variable soil of the site. Because the site was created through the dumping of construction residues, soil fertility and composition can vary dramatically within very small areas. The area's diverse biological communities and location on Lake Ontario make it an important stopover point for migrating birds, butterflies and other insects. These communities also attract breeding birds and insects, which make the park seem to "hum" during the summer months.

Due to the nature of construction and substrates, TTP is quite impervious to water infiltration. The consequence is standing surface water that creates seasonally wet areas that are highly attractive to a variety of wildlife. These seasonally wet areas are heavily used by migratory shorebirds and as nesting sites for regional and locally rare bird species such as Virginia Rail, Sora, and American Woodcock. Seasonal pools are also important breeding areas for amphibians. Although the upland areas do not currently support a great variety of amphibians, as the wooded communities mature, the park has the potential to be one of the few locations across the waterfront capable of supporting woodland dependent amphibians such as spring peepers, woodfrogs and salamanders. The cottonwood forest at TTP provides habitat for tree nesting colonial birds, forest dependent songbirds and various small mammals among many others.

The complex shoreline and nearshore areas of the park provide habitat for warm and cool water fish, invertebrates, amphibians, waterfowl and wading birds to name a few. Wetland enhancements will continue to improve the suitability of the habitat for a range of other wildlife species.

The ecological value of TTP will continue to increase dramatically as the habitat communities mature, and as the lands are enhanced through new and continuing restoration projects.



Tommy Thompson Park Natural Heritage



Reptiles and Amphibians


Vegetation Communities


Hours of Operation

Tommy Thompson Park is open to the public weekends and holidays, except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year?s Day. Operating hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from November to March and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from March to November (coinciding with daylight savings time).



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.