Area Tours

Birdwatching Tour

9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.

SETAC birdwatching group will embark on an “Industrial Birding Adventure,” exploring the Windermere Basin and Grimsby Wetlands near the shorelines of western Lake Ontario. These remediated habitats are a remarkable blend of natural and industrial landscapes, and offer birders the hope of catching sight of numerous species of waterfowl, shorebirds and late departing migrants, in addition to newly arriving over-wintering species. These unique areas on the northwestern shores of Lake Ontario have offered rare bird sightings for species like Harlequin and Tufted Duck, Brown and American White Pelicans, as well as many other migrant species. The tour group will be lead by Jackson Hudecki from Royal Botanical Gardens, as well as local birding legends Bruce Mackenzie and Bob Curry of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club.

Until the year 2000, the Grimsby Wetlands were known as the Biggar Sewage Lagoons, at which time they were decommissioned. The Hamilton Naturalists’ Club petitioned the Regional government to leave the lagoons so they could become a constructed wetland project, a proposal that was finally accepted after five years of negotiation. Since 2016, the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club has been carrying out wildlife enhancement projects on the property, with birds as the primary beneficiaries. The 29 acre wetland is composed of six different water bodies and upland areas that are well-used by breeding and migratory birds, and provides significant shorebird feeding habitat for the fall migration.

Historically, Windermere Basin was a natural wetland and mud flat, providing natural habitat for wildlife. The basin also acts as a natural filter for the outflow of the Red Hill Creek, which serves a watershed of parts of Hamilton, Stoney Creek, and Glanbrook. Windermere Basin has long been recognized as an important location for breeding and migrating birds, with 26 species of birds, some regionally significant, routinely breeding or having bred there in the recent past. The basin has become an important wintering area for waterfowl, and with the loss of wetland habitat in Hamilton Harbour, the remaining wetland in Windermere Basin has become increasingly important for fish and wildlife.

Also at this event, SETAC birders will be able to participate in the Alan Wormington Fall Bird Count! The Fall Bird Count (FBC) has been an annual Hamilton Naturalists’ Club event since 1974 and, for many Hamilton area birders, it is one of the highlights of the birding year. The FBC attempts to record numbers of all bird species to allow trends in bird populations to be discerned. Over the 32 years of the FBC, there has been an annual average of 128.6 species observed. The lowest total recorded was 107 species on a very wet day in 1984 and the highest count was recorded in 2002 with 144 species. As this is the 100th anniversary of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club, this event is sure to be a big draw for area birders who will be able to provide a wealth of local information for the SETAC group! Additional information regarding the Alan Wormington Fall Bird Count can be found at the event’s website.

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to departure time. The Birding Tour will depart from, and return to, the Toronto Convention Centre.

By 15 August By 19 September On-site
US$30 US$40 US$50


11:30 a.m. | Registration Area | Cost: US$25

Join us for a 5-kilometer Fun Run along the Toronto waterfront. The $25 fee will cover your long-sleeved SETAC Fun Run shirt and access to changing facilities before and after the run. Lockers will be available at no charge, but if you wish to secure your belongings, please bring a lock. Dress warmly though – the average daily temperature in early November in Toronto is 45 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius).

Please arrive at the registration area 15 minutes prior to the departure time for the short walk to Goodlife Fitness, where you can change into your running gear.