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Sunday, February 16, 2020


The City of Toronto is running a study to find out how the City's existing Dogs Off-Leash Areas (OLAs) accommodate an increasing human and dog population.  We want to hear what you think about the study's draft recommendations for improving existing off-leash areas.  The survey closes on February 18, 2020, so please take a few minutes now to let your opinion be known; click on the link below:


Shoreline reinforcement along the marina's eastern shore with added fill
and rocks thrown onto ice (reducing the effectiveness of the flood barrier).
Feb. 2020. 
 Photo by Brian Bailey
Many regular park users will notice how the regular cycle of water levels in Lake Ontario has changed over the last several years.  Flooding in the spring of 2019 alone altered the shoreline, in some cases drastically, and trails became impassable for months. 
The Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) has been deploying different tools to remediate the effects of flooding, including adding rock fill to reinforce the seawall along the marina. Similar water level fluctuations may be expected in spring 2020; we'll be monitoring to see how well the new barrier stands up.  

Spring flooding still blocked the marina's eastern trail as late as
June 2019, when this photo was taken. 
Photo by Nancy Barrett

Flooded trail, June 2019. Photo by Nancy Barrett
Find further info about this project at this link.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020


Summary: FOSS Steering Committee Meeting                                         
January 27th, 2020
6:30PM, LAMP, 185 5th Street, Etobicoke

COL. SAM CLEAN UP DAY WITH ALAN ROY: April 19, 2020 (Sunday), 9am-3pm. Rain or shine. For more information, check blog or:

ANNUAL COL. SAM BIRD FESTIVAL: May 23 (Saturday). Kids’ activities. Bird walks. Nature exhibits. Check the blog and/or the following web site for details:

NEW TORONTO HOLIDAY MARKET: Deemed a great success for both kids and adults. Thanks to all who attended in spite of the wind and the rain. FOSS has been asked to participate again in 2020. FOSS hopes to expand the activities on offer. Adults particularly enjoyed making Christmas “swags”. They will definitely be available once more in 2020.

BOXING DAY BIRD COUNT: FOSS thanks all participants. For results, check the blog.

BURDOCK REMOVAL/PLANTING PROJECT: Tentatively scheduled for a weekday in June. Check the blog for updates. FOSS will work in conjunction with the TRCA. Continuing work begun in July 2019, burdock will be eradicated from Whimbrel Point. The area will then be re-planted with wildlife-friendly native plants. Volunteers are much appreciated.

APPLE ORCHARD: FOSS has indicated its concern over the status of the apple orchard and what may happen to the land  if the orchard is not maintained. Humber Lakeshore Principal (Mr. Derek Stockley) has been made aware of these concerns. He has indicated that Humber is presently consulting a landscape architect and an orchard specialist. A follow-up with the community is promised once talks with the City of Toronto have been concluded.

POLLINATOR MEADOW: Representatives from FOSS met in the park (January 27th) with city staff and four students from Fleming College in Lindsay. As part of a course project, the students will produce a Citizen Science Pollinator Monitoring Guide designed to aid interested FOSS volunteers with monitoring the success of the pollinator garden over time.

WASHROOM AVAILABILITY: Washrooms at the Ken Cox Community Centre are open to the public during the opening hours of the centre—including evenings. A sign at the bus stop indicates their location. After skating season ends, contact Mary Campbell ( 338-7027) at Councillor Grimes’ office if the washrooms at the Powerhouse are not open.

BEAVER-CUT TREES: Beavers have cut down several larger trees in Col. Sam. FOSS has learned that although TRCA will provide protective mesh, it will NOT provide the workers to install it. Such work would have to be done by volunteers.

COYOTES WITH MANGE: Three coyotes suffering from mange frequent both Col. Sam and Humber Bay Parks. The Toronto Wildlife Centre is monitoring these animals. Dog owners are advised to keep their pets on a leash. When/if possible, the coyotes will be captured and treated. These animals are extremely wary and suffer greatly from stress when captured.

VIEWING PLATFORM GRATING: The city plans to replace the grating on the viewing platform with a mesh narrow enough to safely accommodate wheel chairs/baby buggies. The work is not scheduled to take place until after the May 23rd Bird Festival.

DRUG/GARBAGE/TREE PLATFORM PROBLEMS AT COL. SAM: Discarded drug paraphernalia and litter are on-going detriments in the park, particularly in the North Creek area. Visitors are asked to notify the police at 416 808-2200 for drug infractions and 311 for trash build-up. Any problems reported to 311 are greatly strengthened when accompanied with a photo.