Humber Bay Shores / Etobicoke Motel Strip Waterfront Park Project
The Humber Bay Shores Waterfront Park is located along the along part of the Lake Ontario waterfront, west of the Humber river mouth to approximately Parklawn Drive, consisting of about of a 20-hectare redevelopment site known as the Motel Strip. Construction of the site began in July 1996 with the lake fill component of the park.
The Humber Bay Shores Public Amenity Area was developed to create a diversity of habitats for wildlife and fish while providing an aesthetically pleasing location for recreational activities. The park was developed with three main components:
The Central Place provides a public gathering place for programmed events and activities and integrates the urban portions of the park. An upper terrace was designed to accommodate community events and seasonal activities.
The Wetlands reflect the wilder, natural landscapes found in the East Humber Bay Park and combines fish habitat features and a storm water management area with opportunities for public access, interpretation and wildlife viewing.
The Beaches offer naturalized areas, a separated system of walking and cycling trails, lookout areas and closer contact with the water's edge along a series of cobble beaches and naturalized backshore areas.
In addition to these areas, the project created a number of fish and wildlife habitat features. Three offshore islands provide a quiet backwater area for fish, complete with a diversity of features including rocky shorelines, log tangles and submerged and emergent aquatic vegetation. The combination of large and small rocks provide cover for young and adult fish and is a haven for algae, invertebrates and plants that are an important food source for many fish species.
Log tangles provide cover for large and small fish alike. Warm water fish like smallmouth bass are often found near logs and trees along natural shorelines, and these anchored logs provide a similar habitat.
Aquatic plants are also important for cover and food. A variety of zooplankton and invertebrates are associated with weed beds and provide food for many fish species. Predatory fish like northern pike hide in the vegetation whilst foraging for their prey. Wetland emergent plants are not only important for fish but are critical for other wildlife including many birds, reptiles and amphibians.