Featured Parks

Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat

Butterfly on a Flower

The Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat is the first of its kind to have large areas devoted exclusively to native plants and to incorporate large plantings through the organization of volunteers and community stewards. As well, it is the first to incorporate a Home Garden component where the general public can see first hand some of the types of plants and other unique features they can implement in their own backyards to increase urban wildlife habitat.

This park features: A demonstration home garden, wildflower meadow, short grass prairie, trails, interpretive signage

 Image of a bird house and tree

The Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat (HBBH) is an ecological restoration project that provides critical habitat for a variety of native butterfly species. Located along the shores of Lake Ontario in Toronto’s west end, HBBH incorporates a diversity of native wildflowers, shrubs, trees, grasses, sedges and a variety of physical features known to support butterflies throughout all life cycles. The goal of HBBH is to establish a self-sustaining native plant community which will support a variety of butterfly species, while engaging and educating park users about the value of urban wildlife habitat.

HBBH is approximately four acres and includes the following:

Short Grass Prairie

The short grass prairie component of the HBBH is located along the stormwater management pond at the west-end of the site. The low growing, drought tolerant vegetation characteristic of this native plant community, provides a variety of host and nectar plants for caterpillars and butterflies. Trees and shrubs have been planted on the berm opposite the prairie, to offer perching areas, shelter and further food sources.

Wildflower Meadow

The Wildflower Meadow represents the largest component of the HBBH, and lies at the furthest east-end of the habitat. There are four vegetation communities represented in this meadow: tallgrass prairie, shortgrass prairie, wet meadow and upland meadow. Each area provides a distinct mix of native wildflowers, grasses and sedges as well as unique physical features. The area between the wildflower meadow and the lake is a large native shrub and tree bed, which provides food, shelter and a wind break for the meadow.

Home Garden

Have you ever wondered how you can turn your garden into a haven for butterflies? The Home Garden incorporates butterfly-friendly plants and physical features that lend themselves to a backyard setting. Key features include benches, stonewalls, gravel and interlocking walkways, perennial beds with native and ornamental species, and interpretive art features.

Image of a bird house and treeSelf Guided Tours!

Interactive and informative interpretive signs are located throughout the Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat. Enjoy a self guided tour, while learning about butterflies, native plants, urban conservation and migrating monarchs!

Get Involved and Dig In!

Do you want to get involved at Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat? Join the City of Toronto’s HBBH Community Stewardship Team. For more information, please e-mail Natural Environment and Community Programs at greentoronto@toronto.ca

Appreciate Art in the Park!

Visit the Home Garden to see the weaved Spirit House by Anne Feir and the sculpted Guardians by Amy Switzer.

Bring your Bike!

The Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat is located immediately south of the Waterfront Trail – a prime destination for cyclists, walkers and in-line skaters alike.