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THREAT REDUCTION

REDUCING ROAMING CAT POPULATIONS

The Toronto Humane Society estimates there are between 20,000 and 100,000 feral cats in the city. 

CatStats Toronto is a database of feral cat colonies in Toronto and the surrounding areas, administered by Community Cats Toronto.

There is information on the City's website which recommends keeping cats indoors and  the Toronto Municipal Code includes an allowance for Trap, Neuter, and Return programs.

Toronto Animal Services is a member of the Toronto Feral Cat Coalition, a group of organizations whose mission is to reduce the number of feral cats in Toronto. 

 

A no-roam bylaw for cats was proposed in 2022 but it was almost unanimously voted against by Toronto city councillors.  

Cats are a serious threat to birds but there are measures you can take to reduce that threat.  Read more here.  

REDUCING WINDOW COLLISIONS

Toronto is located where two main bird flyways converge.  The Toronto Green Standard, which applies to new construction of residential, commercial, industrial and city-owned buildings, has requirements for bird-collision deterrence (under each building category select Ecology > Bird Collision Deterrence).  However, the standards do not apply to existing buildings so bird-building collisions remain a serious cause of bird mortality in Toronto.

Bird-Friendly Best Practices Glass is found on the City's website, offering information about how residents can mitigate bird collisions.  

The CSA has produced bird-friendly building standards and there are currently petitions to have these standards incorporated into Ontario's Building Code and the National Building Code of Canada.  These petitions are being promoted by bird and nature advocacy groups in Toronto.

 

FLAP Canada has been collecting data on bird-building collisions for almost 30 years.  Their volunteers collect and rescue birds that have collided and maintain records on the Birdmapper website.

Never Collide, a volunteer-run organization, has used this data to successfully reach out to the owners of several problematic buildings in Toronto.  Bird deterrent markers have been applied to those buildings and there has been a marked reduction in bird mortality at those locations.  

REDUCING LIGHT POLLUTION

The Toronto Green Standard includes requirements for bird-friendly lighting (under each building category select Ecology > Bird Collision Deterrence).  

Best Practices for Effective Lighting offers information about bird-friendly lighting on the City's website.  

 

Toronto Hydro is trialling LED streetlights with 0% uplight. 

FLAP Canada promotes responsible light control practices in the community.  

REDUCING PESTICIDE USE

Toronto's pesticide bylaw (Municipal Code 612) came into effect on April 1, 2004.  It restricted the application of pesticides on all public and private properties in the City of Toronto.

Ontario Regulation 63/09 came into effect on April 22, 2009, restricting the use and sale of pesticides across the province.  There are exceptions for forestry management, arboriculture, health and safety, and resource management by the City. 

 

Herbicide use is prohibited in the City of Toronto, with exceptions as above, for the City.

 

REDUCING PLASTIC WASTE

The Reduce Single Use Program is part of the ReduceWasteTO program.  It is promoted on the City's website, which also offers strategies to reduce plastic waste.  

Canada's ban on some single-use plastics took effect in 2023.  

REDUCING COLLISIONS WITH VEHICLES

Speed limits have been reduced across the city over the past few years for pedestrian safety.  There may be benefits for wildlife.

Vehicles are restricted in Tommy Thompson Park during open hours, however wildlife crossing signage is rare in Toronto.

PREVENTING DISTURBANCE

Access to important breeding bird sections of Tommy Thompson Park is seasonally restricted and dogs are not allowed in the park.  

Dogs must be kept on leash in Toronto and there are additional restrictions in parks and on beaches, however these bylaws are rarely enforced.  

The City has used fencing to try to encourage ground nesting birds and to keep dogs out.  For example, fencing was installed in Cottonwood Flats, where TRCA was monitoring the presence of ground nesting species.   

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