On July 31, 2020, the Ministry of Natural Resources announced that hunting season for double-crested cormorants could take place in Ontario starting September 15. Cormorant hunting, like all hunting, is not permitted in Toronto under City of Toronto bylaws.
The bylaws prohibiting the discharge of firearms in the City of Toronto are listed in Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 463, Firearms. This includes using a firearm while in a boat for the purposes of hunting. Possession or use of a weapon in a park or on a beach is also prohibited under Municipal Code Chapter 608, Parks. The City’s boundaries extend into Lake Ontario to the United States border and east and west to the borders of neighbouring municipalities.
Most of Toronto’s breeding cormorants began their southern migration in late August, however cormorants from other Ontario breeding colonies are migrating through the city and some individual birds will remain through the late fall. City staff have been working closely with Ministry staff and other stakeholders to ensure compliance with bylaws.
City and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority staff have installed signage around the cormorant breeding colonies at Tommy Thompson Park to remind the public that hunting is not permitted. Bylaw Enforcement Officers will be monitoring areas where cormorants are known to nest. Toronto Police Marine Unit will also be monitoring this area in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources to ensure public safety.
Anyone found to be contravening the bylaw could be charged, which could result in a fine of up to a maximum of $5,000.
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