Exploring Tommy Thompson Park
Tommy Thompson Park is a great place to experience nature and the outdoors. It is widely considered one of the best places for bird-watching in the city, with more than 300 recorded species. It’s also a prime destination for wildlife viewing and fishing.
Spring, summer and fall are the most popular seasons for recreational activities such as hiking, running, roller-blading and leisure cycling on the park trails. Some hardy individuals will also brave the cold and explore TTP in the winter months, enjoying the opportunities for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. (Please note that trails are not maintained in the winter.)
In addition to its unique natural features, the park offers picturesque views of the Toronto skyline and Lake Ontario.
Tommy Thompson Park is open to the public:
• Weekday evenings 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
• Weekends and holidays 5:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Nature Centre is open
Weekends and holidays:
• April to October 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
• November to March 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Tommy Thompson Park is CLOSED to the public weekdays until 4:00 p.m. We are working toward opening the park seven days a week by 2020.
How to get there
By Car: The park entrance is located at Leslie Street and Unwin Avenue. This is five minutes east of the DVP/Gardiner junction along Lake Shore Blvd East.
Parking: There is a free parking lot at the Tommy Thompson Park entrance. Street parking is also available on Leslie Street and Unwin Avenue.
By TTC: Tommy Thompson Park is a 5 minute walk from the Commissioner’s Street bus stop at Commissioner’s and Leslie. This stop is serviced by the 83 Jones Southbound bus. Route 83 runs between Donlands Station on Subway Line 2 and Commissioner’s Street. Connections with Streetcar routes 501, 502, 503 and 506, and bus routes 56 and 31B along the scheduled route.
By foot/bike: The Martin Goodman Trail/Waterfront Trail passes Tommy Thompson Park between Woodbine Beach and Cherry Beach. This is a multi-use trail. NOTE: A portion of this trail is directly on Unwin Avenue and currently not well marked. A planning process is underway to formalize the trail and improve safety along this stretch.
- Cell 1, 2 and 3 are confined disposal facilities and boating is not permitted in these areas.
- Swimming is not permitted anywhere at Tommy Thompson Park.
- no e-bikes, no drones, no skating, no fires, no camping
- No boating in Embayments A, B and D (in addition to what’s listed)
- Removing anything from the park is not permitted. This includes: plants, plant parts, sediment, bricks, wildlife in any form etc.
- Please stay on trail
- Respect wildlife, following our policies
Map & Trails
Cycling / Jogging / Walking / Rollerblading / Strollers / Mobility Devices
Flat paved surface, intermittent speed bumps. Approximately 5 km long, from Entrance to the Lighthouse. This trail crosses the Pedestrian Bridge – please dismount from bicycles to cross. Cyclists should keep their speeds under 20 km/h and yield to pedestrians; pedestrians should be cautious on the trail to avoid collisions with cyclists.
Pedestrian Trail – Level 1
Jogging / Walking / Strollers / Mobility Devices
Flat and smooth gravel surface. 3.4 km long, running parallel to Multi-use Trail from Entrance to Pedestrian Bridge. This trail is designed for pedestrian use only. Bicycles not permitted — must use the Multi-use Trail.
Pedestrian Trail – Level 2
Jogging / Walking
Flat and smooth gravel surface, narrower width than Pedestrian Trail — Level 1. 3.9 km long, offshoots from Pedestrian Trail — Level 1 or Multi-use Trail. This trail is designed for pedestrian use only. Bicycles not permitted — must use the Multi-use Trail.
Natural surface, mowed annually. 3.3 km long, running parallel to Multi-use Trail from Nature Centre to Peninsula B. Be cautious of tripping hazards along this trail. This trail is designed for pedestrian use only. Bicycles not permitted — must use the Multi-use Trail.
Before you visit
There is no running water in the park. Be sure to bring extra water with you.
There are 3 accessible portable toilets throughout the park (at the Parking Lot, Staff Booth and at Peninsula C). Vault toilets are available on weekends from Spring to Fall at the Outdoor Classroom. A standard portable toilet is located t Peninsula D lookout.
Pets, including dogs are not permitted in the park.
Vehicles & e-bikes
Motorized vehicles, including e-bikes are not permitted in the park.
The use of amplified sound is not permitted in the park. Please use earphones if you enjoy listening to music.
- European fire ants are abundant at Tommy Thompson Park. This non-native species bites and the severity of the reaction varies from person to person. Typically it’s very sharp and painful for a few minutes, subsiding into an itch similar to a mosquito bite. To avoid an ant bite, avoid brushing up on plants and tuck your pants into your socks. Brush off any ants that you may find climbing on you.
- Ticks have been reported in Tommy Thompson Park. It is possible they can carry Lyme Disease. It is advised that anyone walking along nature trails should thoroughly check themselves for ticks after a visit. LEARN MORE.
Owl Viewing and Reporting Policy
Ten (10) species of owls have been recorded at Tommy Thompson Park. Some species are regular winter visitors, but other rarer species arrive during times of food shortage in their northern ranges.
Regardless of species, many individuals experience stress during the winter months, which can be exacerbated by increased and concentrated attention by birdwatchers and photographers. Diurnal owls (owls that hunt during the day) need to be left alone so they can successfully hunt. Nocturnal owls (owls that hunt at night) need to be left alone so they can rest, to be ready to hunt at night. If an owl does not have the energy to successfully hunt, it is essentially a dead owl.
To protect wildlife and ensure the park’s ecological integrity, the following policies will be enforced:
- Pets are not permitted in the park.
- Stay on designated trails and do not trample or remove vegetation, including dead vegetation.
- When observing or photographing owls stay at least twelve (12) meters away.
- Observe owls individually or as a very small group; move slowly and whisper.
- Do not linger around an owl for more than a few minutes.
- Do not intentionally disturb owls or cause them to change their behaviour.
- Do not follow an owl if it flies away.
- When photographing owls never use flash.
- Baiting owls for any purpose is strictly prohibited.
- The use of sound devices (recordings, prey calls, etc.) is strictly prohibited.
- Do not report owl sightings on the internet or birding hotlines.
- If you see anyone disturbing owls or other wildlife call the TTP staff line (416-990-8058 during public open hours) or the TRCA general line (416-661-6600 press “0” for immediate assistance). Wildlife harassment can also be reported to the Ministry of Natural Resources at 1-877-TIPS-MNR.