Smythe Park Turtle Watch is a community of volunteers working to protect turtle nests, turtle hatchlings and adult turtles in and around Smythe Park, Toronto ON. At the same time, we learn about our amazing turtle neighbours and get to know each other as well. We work with the support of, and grateful thanks to, the City of Toronto, the Toronto Region Conservation Authority and High Park Turtle Protectors.
About Smythe Park
Smythe Park is located between Jane Street and Scarlett Rd, north of St. Clair Ave W. Black Creek flows through the park. It was a gravel pit owned by Conn Smythe (first owner of the Maple Leafs) that was donated to the community and turned into a park. The new park won an award as an outstanding example of pit and quarry rehabilitation in Ontario. The Carrying Place Trail, a major Indigenous portage route from Lake Ontario to Lake Simcoe dating back 12,000 years, transects the park.
The east of Smythe Park has an outdoor pool, playground and baseball diamonds that draw residents throughout the summer. Black Creek runs through Smythe Park and joins the Humber River about 700m to the west. However, it is channelized in concrete and hosts little permanent wildlife. In contrast, several ponds on the west side of the park have grown into a diverse wetland. There are strong populations of Snapping and Midland Painted Turtles, as well as Red-eared Slider Turtles. The population of butterflies and dragonflies is diverse, and sunfish, bullhead fish and frogs live in the ponds. Garter snakes and the Dekay brownsnakes (both non-venomous!) live in the park. The park is a known birding site. Coyotes breed there.