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Earthprints: Leslie Street Spit
This is the second story in a series called ‘Earthprints’ that will document human impact on the planet with a story a week in the run-up to the global climate summit in Paris in December.

Toronto's Leslie Street Spit is an unexpected urban oasis whose narrow escape from development has brought marshes, lagoons and forests to the center of Canada's largest city. Jutting into Lake Ontario just minutes from the worst of Toronto traffic, the more formally named Tommy Thomson Park was created over 60 years ago by the dumping of dredged sand, concrete chunks and earth fill, expanding what was once just a thin strip of land in the city's busy harbor.
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
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September 24, 2015
Double-crested cormorants nest on a tree in front of the skyline as a plane flies by during sunset at...
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie St Spit
Double-crested cormorants nest on a tree in front of the skyline as a plane flies by during sunset at Tommy Thompson Park, located on a man-made peninsula, known as the Leslie Street Spit, in Toronto May 26, 2015. It was created over 60 years ago by the dumping of dredged sand, concrete chunks and earth fill, expanding what was once just a thin strip of land in the city's busy harbor. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
RTX1S7J8
September 24, 2015
A spiderweb is seen on debris at Tommy Thompson Park located on a man-made peninsula known as the Leslie...
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie Street Spit
A spiderweb is seen on debris at Tommy Thompson Park located on a man-made peninsula known as the Leslie Street Spit, in Toronto May 24, 2015. An unexpected urban oasis, the development brings marshes, lagoons and forests to the centre of Canada's largest city. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
RTX1S7J6
September 24, 2015
Geese fly over Tommy Thompson Park located on a man-made peninsula known as the Leslie Street Spit, in...
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie Street Spit
Geese fly over Tommy Thompson Park located on a man-made peninsula known as the Leslie Street Spit, in Toronto May 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA/
RTX1S7JP
September 24, 2015
Double-crested cormorants nest on a tree in front of the Toronto skyline at Tommy Thompson Park, located...
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie Street Spit
Double-crested cormorants nest on a tree in front of the Toronto skyline at Tommy Thompson Park, located on a man-made peninsula known as the Leslie Street Spit, in Toronto May 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
RTX1S7JO
September 24, 2015
A dead ring-billed gull lies on the ground at Tommy Thompson Park located on a man-made peninsula known...
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie Street Spit
A dead ring-billed gull lies on the ground at Tommy Thompson Park located on a man-made peninsula known as the Leslie Street Spit, in Toronto June 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
RTX1S7ZB
September 24, 2015
Ring-billed fulls gather at Tommy Thompson Park located on a man-made peninsula known as the Leslie Street...
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie St Spit
Ring-billed fulls gather at Tommy Thompson Park located on a man-made peninsula known as the Leslie Street Spit, in Toronto June 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
RTX1S86R
September 24, 2015
Discarded building materials are seen on Leslie Street Spit, in Toronto May 24, 2015. It was created...
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie St Spit
Discarded building materials are seen on Leslie Street Spit, in Toronto May 24, 2015. It was created over 60 years ago by the dumping of dredged sand, concrete chunks and earth fill, expanding what was once just a thin strip of land in the city's busy harbor. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
RTX1S827
September 24, 2015
The CN Tower is seen through branches at Tommy Thompson Park located on a man-made peninsula known as...
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie St Spit
The CN Tower is seen through branches at Tommy Thompson Park located on a man-made peninsula known as the Leslie Street Spit, in Toronto May 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
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September 24, 2015
Messages are written on discarded building materials at Tommy Thompson Park located on a man-made peninsula...
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie Street Spit
Messages are written on discarded building materials at Tommy Thompson Park located on a man-made peninsula known as the Leslie Street Spit, in Toronto May 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
RTX1S7JT
September 24, 2015
An eastern cottontail rabbit sniffs the ground at Tommy Thompson Park located on a man-made peninsula...
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie Street Spit
An eastern cottontail rabbit sniffs the ground at Tommy Thompson Park located on a man-made peninsula known as the Leslie Street Spit, in Toronto June 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
RTX1S837
September 24, 2015
A bird sits on thistles at Tommy Thompson Park located on a man-made peninsula known as the Leslie Street...
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie St Spit
A bird sits on thistles at Tommy Thompson Park located on a man-made peninsula known as the Leslie Street Spit, in Toronto August 9, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
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September 24, 2015
Bird watchers (L-R) Tom Mason, Bob Johnson, and Graham Crawshaw watch birds at Tommy Thompson Park, ...
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie Street Spit
Bird watchers (L-R) Tom Mason, Bob Johnson, and Graham Crawshaw watch birds at Tommy Thompson Park, August 9, 2015. The passion of the cyclists, birders, hikers and naturalists who flock to the artificial peninsula every weekend has helped preserve the unlikely park in its unnatural state. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
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September 24, 2015
Double-crested cormorants nest in treees, June 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie Street Spit
Double-crested cormorants nest in treees, June 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
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September 24, 2015
Bird watcher Lech Jedral photographs birds at Tommy Thompson Park, August 9, 2015. The passion of the...
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie Street Spit
Bird watcher Lech Jedral photographs birds at Tommy Thompson Park, August 9, 2015. The passion of the cyclists, birders, hikers and naturalists who flock to the artificial peninsula every weekend has preserved the unlikely park in its unnatural state. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
RTX1S7KR
September 24, 2015
An eastern cottontail rabbit hides in the grass, June 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie Street Spit
An eastern cottontail rabbit hides in the grass, June 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
RTX1S7KH
September 24, 2015
Double-crested cormorants nest, June 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie Street Spit
Double-crested cormorants nest, June 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
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September 24, 2015
An egg is seen at Tommy Thompson Park, May 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie Street Spit
An egg is seen at Tommy Thompson Park, May 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
RTX1S7KT
September 24, 2015
People look out at the Toronto skyline from Tommy Thompson Park, August 9, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch...
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie Street Spit
People look out at the Toronto skyline from Tommy Thompson Park, August 9, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
RTX1S7KN
September 24, 2015
Dejing Wu fishes at Tommy Thompson Park located on a man-made peninsula known as the Leslie Street Spit,...
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie Street Spit
Dejing Wu fishes at Tommy Thompson Park located on a man-made peninsula known as the Leslie Street Spit, in Toronto August 9, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
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September 24, 2015
A painted turtle sits on a log, June 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie Street Spit
A painted turtle sits on a log, June 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
RTX1S7KP
September 24, 2015
A ring-billed gull flies at Tommy Thompson Park, June 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie Street Spit
A ring-billed gull flies at Tommy Thompson Park, June 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
RTX1S7LP
September 24, 2015
Birds fly on the shores of Tommy Thompson Parkk, May 24, 2015. The Spit offers a five kilometre (3 mile)...
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie Street Spit
Birds fly on the shores of Tommy Thompson Parkk, May 24, 2015. The Spit offers a five kilometre (3 mile) stretch of nature untamed by development, home to 300 species of birds and 500 hectares of pioneer plant life, cottonwood and poplar groves, grassy marshes and gravel beaches. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
RTX1S7IJ
September 24, 2015
Hasan Mohammad fishes at Tommy Thompson Park, on Leslie Street Spit, May 26, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch...
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie Street Spit
Hasan Mohammad fishes at Tommy Thompson Park, on Leslie Street Spit, May 26, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
RTX1S7LN
September 24, 2015
A cyclist rides at sunrise, May 24, 2015. While development plans have plagued the Spit from its beginning,...
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie Street Spit
A cyclist rides at sunrise, May 24, 2015. While development plans have plagued the Spit from its beginning, the passion of the cyclists, birders, hikers and naturalists who flock to the artificial peninsula every weekend has preserved the unlikely park in its unnatural state. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
RTX1S7LC
September 24, 2015
A man goes fishing at Tommy Thompson Park located on a man-made peninsula known as the Leslie Street...
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie Street Spit
A man goes fishing at Tommy Thompson Park located on a man-made peninsula known as the Leslie Street Spit, in Toronto May 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
CLIMATECHANGE-SUMMIT/EARTHPRINTS-CANADA
RTX1S855
September 24, 2015
Birds fly over the water at Tommy Thompson Park, located on a man-made peninsula, known as the Leslie...
Toronto, Canada
Wider Image: Earthprints: Leslie St Spit
Birds fly over the water at Tommy Thompson Park, located on a man-made peninsula, known as the Leslie Street Spit, in Toronto, May 26, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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