The City of Toronto, Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), Waterfront Toronto and Cycling Infrastructure have completed some multi-use trails as part of the Baselands Trails Master Plan.

The Baselands is the area south of Unwin Avenue, bound on the west by the Outer Harbour Marina Road and on the east by the access road into Tommy Thompson Park. This area is City-owned and managed in coordination with TRCA as the Baselands is an extension of the TRCA owned and managed Tommy Thompson Park to the south.

Project Timelines

  • 2014 to summer 2015: Subcommittee formation, stakeholder/public consultation and feedback
  • Fall 2015/winter 2016: Design and Construction Tendering Process
  • 2016 to 2020: Construction

Timelines are subject to change.

The new trail design will create a formal path system to protect the natural area, reduce wildlife disturbances, and improve user safety and accessibility, including improved access to key points of interest. The natural trails will be accessible with a stable surface and look similar to the existing trails with a base to improve drainage.

Download the Baselands Master Plan.

Read the Tommy Thompson Master Plan at

Baselands ecological significance include:

  • 23 distinct ecological community types, with more than 90% classified as common or non-native
  • 5 regionally significant flora species
  • In 2014, 18 species of breeding birds, including 1 threatened and 1 species of special concern
  • Breeding site for northern leopard frog and American toad
  • Snake hibernacula present

The Baselands are a unique area within the City of Toronto, created by lake-filling activities when the Leslie Street Spit construction started in the 1950s.

The area is part of the North Shore Environmentally Significant Area (ESA) and is included within the Leslie Street Spit Important Bird Area.

The Baselands contain mature eastern cottonwood woodlands and a diversity of other plant communities, including early successional wet and dry meadow habitats, as well as regionally rare plant species.

It also represents some of the most significant migratory bird and nesting bird habitat on the Toronto waterfront, and provides habitat for a variety of other wildlife including snakes, amphibians and small mammals.

Summary of Characteristics that Qualify Sites as ESAs: Baselands
ESA Number Name Rare Species/Rare Communities Significant Size,
Levels of Diversity
Significant Ecological
2 Base of Spit
  • 19 significant flora species
  • 2 significant fauna species
  • 7 significant vegetation communities
  • 28 vegetation communities
  • 46 L1 to L4 species
  • Notable as a stopover area for migrating
    songbirds: with approximately 2% of Toronto’s
    records of migrant songbirds noted in this location
    (Dougan and NSE 2010).
  • water storage function (wetland 8.3 ha)
48 Leslie Street Spit
  • 12 significant flora species
  • 7 significant vegetation communities
  • 4 significant fauna species
  • notable area for migrant songbirds: 21% of
    migrant songbird records are from Tommy
    Thompson Park/Leslie Street Spit
  • important colonial breeding bird area
  • noted area for migrant and wintering waterfowl
  • probable function of rubble as snake hibernacula
  • breeding habitat for American toad and northern
    leopard frog
  • provides linkage between foraging and breeding
    habitat for frogs

Source: Environmentally Significant Areas in the City of Toronto.


In an upcoming phase, the nature trail(s) will undergo a detailed design.


Completion of the Tommy Thompson Park Entrance Revitalization Project.


A connection to the Martin Goodman Trail in alignment with Unwin Avenue is completed.


Construction of the multi-use trail to connect from Unwin to the Tommy Thompson Park Staff Booth begins and is completed.

April 28, 2015

Public Meeting

This meeting presented the goal and principles to guide the Plan and the conceptual design for trails. Feedback was gathered.

Download the Baselands Trails Master Plan Public Meeting 2015.


Baselands Trails Subcommittee formation and consultation.