On July 20, 2022, City Council adopted changes to Chapter 349, Animals Bylaw which included limits to the number of domestic pigeons that are permitted to be owned.
Under the bylaw, anyone keeping domestic pigeons in Toronto must:
- Keep no more than 30 domestic pigeons on a property, with allowances for an increase to a maximum of 50 during breeding season (April to October).
- Prohibit the pigeons from perching, roosting or resting on anyone’s property other than the owners.
- Pigeons adapt well to large urban environments as both food and shelter are accessible.
- Toronto has two distinct pigeon populations – domestic and feral.
- Domestic pigeons are pets that are cared for by their owners and provided with food, water and shelter.
- Feral pigeons are abandoned domestic pigeons that now live in our urban environment.
- Pigeons typically live in large flocks of more than 20 birds.
- They breed as monogamous pairs which can create about 12 new pigeons per pair a year.
Preventing Pigeons on Your Property
- Eliminate nearby food and water sources
- Pick up garbage, clutter or debris from your property or balcony
- Remove roosting niches and seal any large openings and entrances to discourage pigeons from nesting
- Secure tin flashing to balcony rail or ledges at a 45-degree angle to stop pigeons from perching
- Hang strips of shiny fabric, colourful spinning wheels, balloons or other devices that move in the wind to discourage birds
- Notify your landlord or property management if you have pigeons nesting on your balcony
The City will not remove pigeons from private property. If pigeons become a nuisance on your property, you will need to call a professional company to discuss and implement solutions.
Controlling the Pigeon Population
The City is working with pigeon rescue groups to implement humane control measures in areas that are known to have large pigeon populations. Part of this strategy includes exploring the use of a pelleted food that acts as a contraceptive. This type of program will decrease the targeted pigeon population by 50 per cent annually.
Pigeon owners can also create a dovecote or an artificial breeding facility to help control pigeon populations. Dovecotes provide nesting areas for pigeons. Eggs are removed and destroyed when they are laid and replaced with dummy eggs, so no further eggs are produced.
For more information about artificial breeding facilities and pigeon control, visit the Pigeon Control Advisory Service (PiCAS).
Support for Pigeon Owners
Toronto Animal Services will provide guidance and support to pigeon owners who need assistance in maintaining the size of their flock or with bylaw compliance. To book a consultation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Information & Resources