map showing locations of quick start projects

Lake Ontario Park Quick Starts

Realizing the Vision


To continue to enhance recreational and ecological opportunities on the waterfront, Waterfront Toronto, in partnership with City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, Planning, Transportation Services  and Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA), worked collaboratively on a series of initiatives for Lake Ontario Park and Tommy Thompson Park, referred to as “Quick Starts”.

The proposed “Quick Start” projects are based on concepts included in the Lake Ontario Park Master Plan, which was developed as a big picture vision and framework for park planning, design and decision-making. The objective of the Quick Start initiative is to implement a series of projects that can deliver a wide range of public benefit within a reasonably short period of time.

The team reviewed a wide range of options and met and consulted with a variety of stakeholders and interest groups in an effort to develop a short list of proposed projects. In addition to feedback, the availability of funding was also a key consideration in choosing projects. Additional public and stakeholder consultation took place to provide the public with an opportunity to review and comment on the projects.

After extensive review, the following list of 13 projects is being proposed. Seven projects are either fully or partially funded. The proposed projects build on recent investments in Lake Ontario Park and Tommy Thompson Park and focus on enhancing existing conditions and developing unimproved park lands.

Baselands & North Shore Planting and Landscape Enhancements


This project is funded and currently underway. The project has a number of elements, including improving the appearance of the Martin Goodman Trail through landscape enhancements, retiring the network of unauthorized trails in the area and improving native plantings in the area.

This project also includes a program to protect existing habitat and the biodiversity in this area through the treatment and removal of Dog Strangling Vine in the area. Several locations within the Baselands are impacted by Dog Strangling Vine, an extremely aggressive invasive species threatening native vegetation in the area.

Status:  Funded and underway

Tommy Thompson Park Interpretation


The project is being implemented to foster self-guided exploration in the park. The project includes a new front entrance sign, interpretive park materials and a new “Weekend Naturalist” position who will offer nature interpretation programs to park users and visitors.

Status:  Funded, design work underway

Outer Harbour Recreational Node


To increase access to the water’s edge and provide a safe and accessible space for recreational fishing, birding and nature appreciation, a new recreational node – an outcropping at the water’s edge – is being built. It will also provide a resting area for users of the Martin Goodman Trail and the Tommy Thompson Park trail systems.

Status:  Funded, October 2014 project start
Completed: April 2015

Pedestrian Trail Network, Baselands


Enhancing user experience and protecting the sensitive ecological environment in this area are the key objectives of this project. By formalizing a set of pedestrian trails in the Baselands the project will improve habitat protection. The new trails will be designed based on the TRCA’s Tommy Thompson Park Trails Master Plan and will be designed to be consistent with the hydrological (water) functions and needs of the landscape.

Status:  Funded

New Martin Goodman Trail, Baselands


The Martin Goodman Trail (MGT) is a multi-use path along the waterfront in that is heavily used by pedestrians, runners, cyclists and inline skaters across the waterfront. The new section of the MGT through the Baselands will fill in a missing link of trail between Cherry Beach and Leslie Street, This new multi-use trail will wind its way through the rustic landscape of the Baselands improving user safety by providing a safe off-road path for pedestrians, cyclists and other, while protecting sensitive natural areas, regeneration zones and habitats.

Status:   Partially Funded

Pedestrian Trail, Cherry Beach to Circulating Channel


Adding a new pedestrian trail through this section of the park will increase access to this underutilized area, while providing access to the water’s edge. This project will also formalize existing trails and support the shoreline restoration and habitat enhancements that are proposed for the area.

Status:   Not funded

Shoreline Restoration, Hanlan Boat Club to Circulating Channel


This project will increase public access to the water’s edge, improve terrestrial and aquatic habitat, while protecting the shoreline.

Status:   Design work funded; project not funded

Wooden Fishing Pier, Circulating Channel


A new wooden fishing pier will increase public access to the water’s edge, improve terrestrial and aquatic habitat in the area, while protecting the shoreline. The pier will be built on piles located at the southeast corner of the Circulating Channel.

Status:   Design work funded; project not funded

Wildlife Viewing Platform, Baselands


The addition of a wildlife viewing platform to the trails in the Baselands will improve accessibility for all park users and create opportunities for wildlife viewing. The unique habitats in the Baselands support a variety of species, particularly birds during spring and fall migration, which makes it a desired destination for nature enthusiasts and bird watchers.

Status:   Not funded

Tommy Thompson Park Gateway Pavilion Project


The Gateway Pavilion project will improve park user experiences with the addition of three fully serviced, unisex and accessible washrooms and shelter for visitors to enjoy interpretive displays, materials and activities, This Gateway project was originally included in the scope of the infrastructure improvements completed in 2013, but was postponed due to budget. The pavilion was subject to review by Waterfront Toronto’s Design Review Panel as part of the earlier work and received Panel support.

Status:   Design work complete; project not funded

Cherry Beach Landscape Restoration and Parking Lot


This project will create more beach area by relocating the existing surface parking lot on Cherry Beach. The project will also include site remediation, paving of a new parking lot, and the installation of bio swales and vegetation.

Status:   Not funded

Upgraded Martin Goodman Trail, Cherry Beach to Baselands


The Martin Goodman Trail (MGT) is a multi-use path along the waterfront that is heavily used by pedestrians, runners, cyclists and inline skaters across the waterfront. This section of the MGT will be widened and resurfaced to better accommodate trail usage needs and to meet current standards.

Status:   Not funded