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Plans unveiled for Marie Curtis Park

Etobicoke Creek in Toronto, Canada, photograph...

Image via Wikipedia

Regular readers know that this blog is written from Anchovy World Headquarters hidden deep below an ordinary looking abode by the lake in a community known as Long Branch. Long Branch is part of what used to be called South Etobicoke before amalgamation into the City of Toronto.  There are three communities beside one another by the lake. To the east, closest to Toronto proper is Mimico. I’m not sure exactly where Mimico starts, but I know where it ends – at a street called Dwight Avenue, which is just west of Royal York Road. West of Dwight, you’re into New Toronto, which stretches to Col. Samuel Smith Park and the Humber College grounds. Long Branch sits between Sam Smith and a second park to the West called Marie Curtis. West of that and you’re out of the former Etobicoke and into the City of Mississauga, the community called Lakeview, and Port Credit just down the road.

Both parks are beautiful. There are several deer living in Marie Curtis and the adjoining Arsenal lands. I saw them once at the foot of Dixie Rd, and I’ve talked to others who have seen them several times west of Etobicoke Creek. Marie Curtis Park, however, has the distinction of being a popular gay cruising spot, which has detracted from it’s draw as a family park. Hardly anyone wants to stumble into what an old friend of mine used to call friggery in the twiggery while out for an evening walk.  There’s been some condo development near-by and in general I think there has been some pressure on the City to try to make Marie Curtis a park for everyone by making it a less attractive place for people to meet and have more or less public sex. The other challenge for the City is discouraging the nesting Canada Geese. It may be equally difficult to discourage the geese and the public sex.

So the City has come up with a plan that has just been unveiled. It looks fairly comprehensive. It even includes a dog park, a second for our area. The City is going to spend $8 million on the place. My only worry is the deer. In the short term, I think they’ll be OK on the Arsenal lands property, but eventually that will get developed too. Then where will they go?


  1. s allan

    I’d like to see a breakdown of cost on the boardwalk (that goes to nowhere) and it’s still not finished ! I’d sign up for the goose chase>

  2. Hi. I think the Northern White Tailed Deer that use Marie Curtis Park and the surrounding area will have no problem. The disadvantage for the Northern White Tailed Deer is that a lot of developement will take place around Lakeshore Boulevard. The advantage for the Northern White Tailed Deer is that many shrubs and trees have been planted at Marie Curtis Park. More shrubs and trees will be planted as well as a wetland which will be created at Marie Curtis Park West. According to the plan, the large forest at Marie Curtis Park West and the surrounding area will be even bigger by planting more shrubs and trees. The Northern White Tailed Deer have benefited from the newly planted shrubs and trees, and will continue to benefit from the proposal of a lot more shrubs, trees, and other naturalization projects too come.

  3. Salvelinas Fontinalis

    Dont worry about the deer. They are one of the most destructive animals on the planet and I have every confidence that they will eventually find a way to join the herd that devastates my gardens every year. People feel badly when humans encroach on what they perceive as nature and wildlife but the truth is that people are breeding like rabbits and we have to stick them somewhere. I figure there are roughly 5 – 6 billion more people than the planet can reasonably support and that number increases each hour.

    The friggery in the twiggery problem should be pretty easy to fix. If you know it is there then it is safe to assume that the police also know it is happening and are ignoring it. Shouldnt take much public pressure to get them to stop ignoring the issue. The geese would be a much bigger problem. The geese are there because they like the habitat – food, water, predator free open spaces -. To permanently discourage the geese you have to change the habitat so that they no longer find it attractive. Geese can be chased away (I have a professional goose chasing dog and for a very large sum of money I could come down and chase them off). Better is to have a professional oil their eggs in an attempt to slow their breeding. This can be effective but really, wildlife expands to fit habitat available and geese from some other area would soon move in. Short term, 50 guys with shotguns and a whole row of BBQ’s is as good a plan as any I think. Long term you need to change the habitat to discourage them.

    By the way… is your Mayor ok with spending $8 million on a park?

  4. It’s always a fine line to straddle. Developments of any kind, particularly in a nature area, do have big impacts on the resident wildlife. And in a city as large as Toronto, I don’t imagine there are a lot of options for the deer.

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