A raccoon is stranded on a fourth floor ledge on the Toronto Star building at One Yonge Street. The ledge is at a 45 degree angle. at in Toronto. Toronto is engaged in a years-long, playful war against its raccoons. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

< Go to Homepage

Toronto and Its Raccoons Have a Love-Hate Relationship

Raccoons are a scourge in Canada’s biggest city, but they’ve also earned residents’ respect.

The city of Toronto and its abundant raccoons are enjoying a years-long hot-and-cold relationship. Raccoons are particularly prevalent in Canada’s biggest metropolis, and despite the havoc they tend to wreak, they’ve also become something of a mascot for the city.

Toronto’s raccoons don’t just go about their typical business of breaking into trash cans and garages, rummaging for food until they scurry away at the first sign of human presence. Toronto chaos agents have character, like the one resident Jenny Serwylo recently found eating bread in her kitchen that held eye contact with her as he finished his meal.

“Raccoons are just like people. Some are calm. Some are curious. And Some are just vicious a–holes,” wildlife control expert Derick McChesney told The Guardian. For obvious reasons, getting a head count on the creature population of Toronto is tough, but their presence is a big enough issue to demand the mayor’s attention.

In 2017, Mayor John Tory introduced a new, raccoon-proof trash bin to the city’s operations. Within a week, raccoons had begun tipping over and thus foiling the city’s attempts at keeping them out of the trash.

“They’ve bullied their way into the — and now we’ve just embraced them,” McChesney said.

Read the full story at The Guardian