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Wetland Creation Project Begins at Leslie Street Spit

Dec 01, 2014

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December 1, 2014 (Toronto, ON) - The Toronto Port Authority (TPA), together with Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA), have begun the process of transforming the second of three Confined Disposal Facilities (CDFs), known as "Cell 2", at the Leslie Street Spit (the Spit) into a nine-hectare wetland habitat for fish, birds and wildlife. Other partners in the project include the City of Toronto, Coca-Cola Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Environment Canada.
 
Each of the "cells" located at the Spit were designed by the TPA to properly and safely contain material dredged by the TPA from the Keating Channel. This material is made up of sediment from the Don River that is deposited at the bottom of the channel. With the second "cell" now at capacity for dredged material, the TPA will begin sealing "Cell 2" with a layer of soil and clay-the entire project will require approximately 21,500 truckloads of excavated material. Once sealed, TRCA will begin installing native vegetation and wetland features in the area that will provide a new habitat for fish and wildlife, and expand the Spit's recreational and nature features enjoyed by Torontonians.
 
"Our work at the Leslie Street Spit is one of the ways the Toronto Port Authority demonstrates our commitment to a thriving, sustainable waterfront to be enjoyed by future generations," says Ken Lundy, Director of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment for the Toronto Port Authority. "We are thrilled to be a leader in moving this project forward together with Toronto and Region Conservation to provide an important aquatic habitat and, just as important, green space for cyclists, hikers, birdwatchers and nature lovers to enjoy the great outdoors."
 
The development of "Cell 2" into a wetland will take place in several phases and is expected to be complete by winter 2017/2018. In 2007, the TPA and TRCA completed the "Cell 1" Wetland Creation Project, converting the CDF into a 7 hectare coastal wetland. "Cell 1" is now home to marsh birds, including nesting Common Terns, turtles, amphibians, small mammals and native fish. The final cell, "Cell 3", continues to be used for dredged materials, with approximately 30 to 40 years of capacity remaining.
 
The Leslie Street Spit, also known as Tommy Thompson Park, is located at the foot of Leslie Street just minutes from Toronto's downtown. The TPA began creating the Spit in the 1950s through in-filling activities. Through efforts undertaken by the TRCA, the Spit has become a significant natural area on the Toronto waterfront which includes a learning centre. The approximately 500-hectare site has been designated as an Environmentally Significant Area and was declared a globally significant Important Bird Area by Birdlife International in 2000.
 
Additional information about the "Cell 2" wetland creation project is available at: www.tommythompsonpark.ca/cell2

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TORONTO PORT AUTHORITY (www.torontoport.com)
For more than 100 years the Toronto Port Authority has worked with its partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to enhance the economic growth of the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. The Toronto Port Authority owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which welcomes more than two million passengers each year; the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada's largest freshwater marinas; and, Terminals 51 and 52, which provide transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses at the Port of Toronto. The Toronto Port Authority is committed to fostering strong, healthy and sustainable communities and has invested more than $5.6 million since 2009 in charitable initiatives and environmental programs that benefit communities along Toronto's waterfront and beyond. TPA operates in accordance with the Canada Marine Act and is guided by a nine-member board with representation from all three levels of government.
 
TORONTO AND REGION CONSERVATION (www.trca.on.ca)
With over 55 years of experience, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) helps people understand, enjoy and look-after the natural environment. Our vision is for The Living City®, where human settlement can flourish forever as part of nature's beauty and diversity. 
 
Media Contacts:
Erin Mikaluk
Senior Manager, Communications & Media Relations
Toronto Port Authority
Tel: (416) 863-2065
Cell: (647) 298-0544
E-mail: emikaluk@torontoport.com
 
Rick Sikorski
Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications
Toronto and Region Conservation
Tel: (416) 661-6600 ext. 5414
Cell: (416) 473-5320
E-mail: rsikorski@trca.on.ca

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Media contact:

Elizabeth Oakley
Tel: 416-661-6600 ext 5856
media@trca.on.ca

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