Toronto, April 08, 2008 - Waterfront Toronto today announced the completion of 2500 square metres of new habitat as part of the construction of the new public space at Spadina Head of Slip. This initiative achieves a key goal of Waterfront Toronto’s Central Waterfront Master Plan which was selected through an international design competition in 2006. The winning design by West 8+DTAH featured new fish habitat throughout the waterfront and considers restoration of marine ecology as integral to creating a living ecologically sustainable system in Toronto’s Inner Harbour.
The new habitat created at Spadina Head of Slip includes installation of concrete and riverstone shoals, embankments around the perimeter of the slip, tree log and root habitat structures and boulder clusters intended to provide habitat and shelter. This enhancement work is aimed at increasing feeding cover and promoting foraging opportunities within the site. Similar installations elsewhere in the area by Toronto and Region Conservation have resulted in increased populations of native fish species, including Northern Pike.
In North America since the 1930s habitat structures have been added to aquatic systems when natural habitat is perceived to be lacking or insufficient to attract fish and increase productivity. The north shore of Toronto’s Inner Harbour has been significantly altered over the past 200 years due to the pressures of development, port expansion, industry, transportation and recreation resulting in significant environmental degradation.
"We are very excited to be contributing to enhancing the aquatic habitat in Toronto’s Inner Harbour," said John Campbell, President and CEO, Waterfront Toronto. "This is a very significant step in the implementation of Waterfront Toronto’s Sustainability Framework and key to our vision to make Toronto’s Waterfront an international leader in sustainable development."
Waterfront Toronto, together with its partners at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Ministry of Natural Resources, City of Toronto Water and Toronto and Region Conservation recently formed a new task force, "Aquatic Habitat Toronto", specifically geared towards helping all of Waterfront Toronto’s projects to incorporate habitat in a comprehensive and effective way. The new habitat at Spadina Head of Slip is the first project in the Central Waterfront to have benefited from this process, and is expected to set a new standard of excellence going forward. The entire Spadina Head of Slip project began construction in Fall 2007 and is scheduled to be complete in Summer 2008.
The members of Aquatic Habitat Toronto, the consensus based partnership responsible for improving aquatic habitat on the Toronto waterfront, are thrilled to see the efforts of this integrated planning process come together in the form of 2500 square metres of new habitat at the Spadina Slip. This is only the beginning… ‘build it’ and the fish ‘will come’!
The next phase of implementation will include additional Heads of Slips at the foot of Rees, Simcoe and Portland Streets, a new continuous water’s edge promenade and boardwalk as well as a series of new iconic bridges which will link the gaps in the boardwalk at the water’s edge.
Marisa Piattelli, Waterfront Toronto, 416-214-1476, email@example.com