Spadina Quay Wetland

Designers: PMA Landscape Architects, City of Toronto, PLANT Architect Inc. | City: Toronto, ON | Project Type: wetland, stormwater management, habitat, remediation
Date Visited: 08.29.12
Location: 479 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON
Size: 3,500 sq. m (0.9 acre)
Official Opening Date: 1996

Located just east of the Toronto Music Garden, the Spadina Quay Wetland is an urban wildlife sanctuary and wetland restoration site. A former surface parking lot, the space was transformed in 1996 into a thriving, sustainable ecosystem full of frogs, birds and fish that reflects the original ecology of the Lake Ontario shoreline.

With a prime downtown location that borders both Lake Ontario and Spadina WaveDeck, the Spadina Quay Wetlands receive a lot of foot traffic. So I think it’s great that, along with the boardwalk and viewing platforms, educational signage was installed throughout the site, each explaining the wetland history, landscape functions, and types of flora and fauna. In fact, I’ve found Toronto’s park signage very impressive–many parks that I’ve visited throughout the city have been marked by attractive signage that showcase the site’s history and sustainable functions.

Though small in size, this diverse and stable ecosystem proves that a wetland habitat can be successfully regenerated in a highly urbanized city. Thanks to a reworking of the site’s edge conditions by PLANT Architect, the wetland’s wild appearance is tempered by clear-cut and well-marked pathways that cut through the park.

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