Under Toronto’s Animals Bylaw, you are not allowed to feed wildlife or leave food out to attract animals on both public and private property.  Feeding songbirds on your property is permitted providing your bird feeder is kept in a sanitary condition and does not act as an attractant to other wildlife.

Wildlife has long been a part of Toronto’s urban landscape.  Our many parks, ravines and green spaces provide a natural habitat in which animals can thrive. Wild animals do not require any help or food from people.

Feeding wildlife may seem harmless, but it can have serious impacts to both animals and the community.  Here are a few reasons why:

  • When wild animals are fed by humans, it conditions them to expect food from people and may increase their proximity tolerance, putting both people and animals at risk.
  • Human food is very unhealthy for animals. Wild animals are skilled foragers and hunters and can find sources of higher quality food on their own.
  • Wild animals do not need our handouts. Letting animals use their own natural instincts is the only kindness they need.
  • Feeding and disturbing wild animals is prohibited under City bylaws

With the rise of social media and digital photography, baiting or luring wild animals has become a prevalent issue. Feeding wildlife can lead them to be dependent on a food source which can alter their natural survival instincts. It may cause wild animals to increase their proximity tolerance and approach closer to and linger longer in residential neighbourhoods which can lead to negative interactions with people.  Photographers are encouraged to take photos of wildlife ethically.

Providing an offering of food for your loved one is a practice that is observed by many cultures and it is considered an important part of the grieving process.  But, leaving food behind can also attract animals who are looking for easy access to a food source. People are asked to dispose of their food properly when observing this practice to avoid intentionally feeding wildlife and to prevent conflicts within the community.