Environmental Philosophy

Volume 4, Issue 1/2, Spring/Fall 2007

Special Double Issue: Environmental Aesthetics and Ecological Restoration

Jennifer Foster
Pages 117-133

Toronto’s Leslie Street Spit
Aesthetics and the Ecology of Marginal Land

This paper explores the construction of habitat that potentially imperils its inhabitants by considering the case of Toronto’s Leslie Street Spit and specific threats to coyotes and gulls occupying this urban dump and wilderness refuge. The paper argues that while there are many positive dimensions of aesthetic engagement, aesthetics may also blind humans to ecological problems experienced by nonhumans, and suggests a need to enhance aesthetic awareness with accounts derived from natural history and sciences.