Councillor Ausma Malik (Ward 10, Spadina-Fort York) introduced a motion on June 15, 2023, seconded by Jennifer McKelvie (Deputy Mayor), to pass critical measures to restore ecology and preserve the history and culture of Hanlan's Point Beach.
Councillor Ausma Malik (Ward 10, Spadina-Fort York) introduced a motion on June 15, 2023, seconded by Jennifer McKelvie (Deputy Mayor), to pass critical measures to restore ecology and preserve the history and culture of Hanlan's Point Beach. The motion, as follows, passed unanimously.
1. City Council request the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, in consultation with other appropriate divisions, to take steps to expand the clothing optional beach at Hanlan’s Point on City-operated lands between Toronto Island Airport and Gibraltar Point as soon as possible and implement communication tactics including signage to communicate the expansion.
2. City Council direct the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, in consultation with the City Solicitor and other appropriate divisions, to review a by-law amendment on the restoration and expansion of the clothing optional beach at Hanlan’s Point Beach and area between Toronto Island Airport and Gibraltar Point and to report back to Infrastructure and Environment Committee in the fourth quarter of 2023.
3. City Council direct the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, in consultation with appropriate divisions, and in alignment with the Toronto Island Master Plan and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority Flood Mitigation Environmental Assessment, to consider including the following projects within the recommendations and priorities of the Master Plan and to report back as part of the Master Plan in the fourth quarter of 2023:
a. the development of a new paved trail to access the north end of Hanlan’s Point beach while ensuring the protection of the adjacent Environmentally Significant Area; and
b. restoration of the beach in the area of the original site of Hanlan’s First Pride Picnic to commemorate and recognize the significance of this space to the 2SLGBTQ+ communities.
4. City Council request the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation to continue work already underway to review and implement:
a. installation of signage, cultural markers and flag poles to acknowledge the significance of Hanlan's beach and the site of Hanlan's First Pride Picnic; and
b. opportunities to enhance the ecological integrity of Hanlan’s Point including: new fencing to direct park and beach goers to preferred access points and pathways; and a pilot program to naturalize areas and increase buffer zones within and around Hanlan’s Point Beach.
Councillor Malik shared on the floor of council why this motion was so important.
Last month, City Council took the important step to recognize the eight decades of queer history, community, and the importance of place making at Hanlan’s Point Beach and surrounding area.
From this declaration, the community and City staff have advanced work on the actions that will preserve this history, protect the significant ecology of the area, and improve safety for users of this public space.
City staff have recommended a number of actions that will be implemented this season, and others that will begin review and reporting back later this year. During this Pride month, these important steps show the commitment we all have to creating a safe, public, and queer-friendly space at Hanlan’s.
I want to acknowledge the continued work of the Friends of Hanlan’s to support these initiatives, and our Parks staff who continue to provide their expertise and care on the enhancement of Hanlan’s Point, and the broader Toronto Island Master Plan.