At the foot of Leslie Street, a 5 kilometre-long peninsula juts out into Lake Ontario. Weekends, year round, the Leslie Street Spit (Tommy Thompson Park) is open to bikers, hikers, picnickers, birdwatchers, wildflower afficionados – anyone wanting to spend quality time with Mother Nature. No dogs are allowed because there’s so much animal, bird and plant life on the Spit – over 400 plant species, 300 bird species, reptiles, butterflies, foxes, otters, coyotes and beaver. Trails are paved and well maintained, and there are several off-trail areas as well.The struggle to maintain this wildlife reserve is never ending. Read about it on http://www.friendsofthespit.caTo reach TORONTO’s Leslie Street Spit, take the Queen Street East streetcar #501 to Berkshire Street. From there, it’s a 1.5 kilometre bikeride or hike to the gate. Parking is available, and the Conservation Authority runs a mini-bus service from mid-point of the park to the front gate. Open all year, on WEEKENDS & HOLIDAYS ONLY: April to October 9 am to 6:00 pm; November to March 9 am to 4:30 pm.