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Wednesday, June 16, 2021


We have received a number of requests from people who wish to become Friends of Sam Smith Park members for the option of paying the membership fee electronically.  This is now possible.

FOSS annual membership is $10 individual or $15 for a family. There are now two ways to join ...

Mail a downloadable, printable membership form with a cheque or cash - click here.

or ...

Send an e-transfer to and a separate email to the same address with the answer to your e-transfer's security question, your full name, address and phone number.

Thanks for your interest in Colonel Samuel Smith Park.

Your FOSS Team

We are well into spring, and summer is almost here.  It has been a different year, but "Friends of Sam Smith Park" (FOSS) has managed to continue many activities none-the less.  Some of these have been virtual, like our Dec.- Feb. on-line videos and kids activities, and our current Spring Bird Festival.  Others have been more hands-on, like our Winter Bird Feeder Project from Dec.- March at the Skating Trail, and the new grebe nesting platforms in the yacht club basin.

Our usual FOSS membership year runs from May 1- April 30.  Last year we did not collect memberships at all, due to the COVID-19 situation, with less going on at the park.  This year we would like to start collecting memberships again, since we have had a number of expenses, and our bank account is running very low!  The major expense this year has been materials for building 3 new grebe platforms for the yacht club basin, since only 1 of our 4 platforms survived the winter.  Labour was donated free!  The grebes are now using all 4 platforms for their nests, so this expense was well worth it.

Saturday, June 12, 2021


From Councillor Grimes' latest newsletter ....

 "Fireworks Bylaw"

Last October, I moved a motion to request that the City review the fireworks bylaw to see how it could be reformed to respond to the persistent use of fireworks that we saw last summer. Earlier in May, staff reported back with the Response to Increased Unpermitted Fireworks Use during the COVID-19 Pandemic. As we have seen since the May 24 weekend, there has been a need to strengthen the staff recommendations in the report.

I drafted a motion to reopen the item, which Councillors Holyday and Crawford moved on my behalf, and was adopted unanimously by City Council. The motion directs staff to:

  1. immediately ban the possession of fireworks in a City of Toronto park;

  2. identify a funding source for Municipal Licensing and Standards By-law Officers to enforce fireworks regulations after midnight on the following dates: July 1 to July 4, 2021; July 30 to August 2, 2021; September 3 to September 6, 2021;       
  1. immediately apply to the Province of Ontario, and take any other steps
    required, to double fireworks-related set fines;
  1. immediately install permanent No Fireworks signage in Marie Curtis Park, Colonel Samuel Smith Park, Humber Bay Park West, Humber Bay Park East, Humber Bay Shores Park and any other parks with higher rates of fireworks non-compliance under the Parks By-law, in consultation with the local Councillor;
  1. immediately launch an information campaign, including transit shelter and electronic billboard ads, to educate the public on the rules and reinforce that Victoria Day and Canada Day are the only two days that fireworks are allowed; and 
  1. explore the feasibility of introducing new City of Toronto fines under the noise by-law and report back in the third quarter of 2021 to the Economic and Community Development Committee."

You can read the full motion here, and watch the council item here.- ---  more details are in newsletter

Thursday, June 10, 2021



Link to our Facebook page:

City of Toronto Birder Interviews:

CCFEW: Getting Started in Birding:

Tree Swallow Field with Terry Smith

Journey of Cooper's Hawks, Irene Cholewka

Nancy Barret: Here's two videos of Whimbrels at Whimbrel Point, Col. Sam Smith Park:

Chimney Swifts at dusk, from our mid-Toronto balcony:

Morning Birdsong--Tommy Thompson Park:

Kelly-sue: Bird Walk

Shout! Shout! Turn The Lights Out!

Banana Bird Finds A Home

Tuesday, June 8, 2021


Summary: FOSS Steering Committee Meeting

May 31, 2021

7:05 PM, Via Zoom Video Conferencing

FIREWORKS AT COL. SAM PARK: By-law officers must witness infractions and then call police if any charges are to be laid. FOSS believes the major issue is enforcement. Councillor Grimes is working with city council in an attempt to control the fireworks problem during the upcoming July 1 holiday. Complaints/concerns should be directed to Councillor Grimes’s office.

MEMBERSHIP: No fees were collected in 2020. Membership fees for 2021 are $10 for an individual and $15 per family. Membership applications are available on Facebook, Twitter and via e-mail. The FOSS website will soon be upgraded to allow electronic payment of fees.

WASHROOMS: Park users and Facebook members have complained about the lack of washroom facilities and the presence of discarded paper in the bushes at Col. Sam. Complaints/concerns should be directed to Councillor Grimes’s office.

THE LARGE BOWL: The once-thriving natural habitat of the Large Bowl has been largely reduced to mown grass. Former bushes/wetland have been destroyed. Restoration as a wetland would be preferred, but simply leaving the area uncut would be a welcomed benefit for nature. FOSS will inquire about the possibilities of ending the mowing and/or replanting bushes around the edges and in the middle of the Bowl.

SPRING (VIRTUAL) BIRD FESTIVAL: Culminated on May 29 with limited social media and no on-line presence. 

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.

Saturday, June 5, 2021


Tree for Free is back !! The Long Branch Neighbourhood Association is organizing another Tree for Free event this year. 

Be sure to register by June 14 for the drive-through pick-up at Colonel Samuel Smith Park on Saturday June 26. 

Visit here for more details. 

Friday, June 4, 2021


The University of Toronto Trash Team, in partnership with TRCA, has begun the “Tagging Trash” project in the Toronto Harbour.

This project will help identify the path floatable trash travels in the Toronto Harbour and inform TRCA’s Floatables Strategy. The intent is to create a long-term maintenance commitment, by those with jurisdiction over the area, to maintain the aesthetic quality of the Toronto waterfront. This strategy identifies and provides support to ongoing maintenance and further improvements of the aesthetics on the waterfront through the removal of floatable litter, known as floatables. Version 1.0 of this strategy
was developed in 2019, and now in 2021 TRCA is implementing various objectives of the strategy.

The Tagging Trash project, will help inform the Floatables Strategy on how floatables are moving and accumulating in the Toronto Harbour. This data will be used to inform where future trash trapping technology can be utilized. The Tagging Trash project uses GPS-tracked “Blender Bottle” water bottles to represent floating litter in the harbour. The GPS coordinates help reveal their travels to determine movement patterns and potential accumulation zones for floating litter. This will allow us to better understand local sources of litter and help inform future placement of trash trapping devices, such as Seabins and other new technologies, to divert litter from Lake Ontario.

Additionally, as an objective of the Floatables Strategy, TRCA in partnership with the City of Toronto, and through funding from the Ministry of Parks Culture and Environment (MECP) will be installing 2 Seabins this summer at the Toronto Islands ferry docks. Seabins are a trash capturing technology, which are installed directly into the water to capture floating debris/pollution and microplastics.  

For more information on the “Trapping Trash” project please visit the website:

If you have any questions or comments about the Floatables Strategy, or the Trapping Trash project please reach out to Jill Attwood or Lindsay Clapp at TRCA.