Hanlan’s Point, Toronto’s popular nude beach and cruisey gay hangout, is slowly eroding into Lake Ontario along with other parts of the Toronto Islands, says a report from the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.
The report says the Toronto Islands are eroding at a rate of eight metres per year and predicts that up to one sixth of the islands’ land mass could be gone by the end of the century.
The erosion is the result of decades of dumping construction waste into Lake Ontario at the foot of Leslie St. The ever-growing Leslie St Spit deflects lake currents away from the islands, says the report. But the currents carry runoff sediment from the Scarborough bluffs that replenish soil lost from the islands to storms.
Plans to protect the islands have been stalled for decades because of budget and feasibility concerns. The conservation authority is studying a number of plans to halt the erosion including breakwalls and rebuilding sandbanks with silt dredged from the harbour but, the report notes, any solution will be expensive and take years to complete.