Pigeon feeding fiasco turns into rat uprising on Bloor

Toronto continues to maintain its notorious reputation as Canada’s “rattiest city.”

In a recent article published by the Toronto Star, it was revealed  that rats have overrun the food intended for pigeons, infesting tree pits along Bloor Street. Surprisingly, despite this concerning development, the city shows a  lack of concern towards the problem.

Contrary to the city’s recent bylaw which outlawed the feeding of wildlife in Toronto, someone has been feeding pigeons outside the Dovercourt Baptist Church, located on the north side of Bloor, west of Dufferin Street.

While placing seeds in a hanging bird feeder is still allowed, scattering it on the ground is now prohibited.

Adam G. Wynne forwarded the email and accompanying photos that he had originally sent to 311 to the Toronto Star, which asked: “Who is responsible for rat-infested tree pits and planters?”

The city’s response to Wynne said, “Urban Forestry has advised that the concern of rat infested commercial tree planters is outside of their scope. At this time, we are not proceeding with service requests to Urban Forestry for the addresses listed.”

Wynn also told The Star, that he set the city locations of close to a dozen tree pits along Bloor, east of Dufferin, which also exhibit signs of infestation. However, the city’s response made it clear that it is unlikely to do anything to get rid of them.

The article also notes, that while there’s a sign in the church window that acknowledges the bylaw, it has not discouraged the individual responsible for the feeding.
The Toronto Star also reached out to the city, and the response was similar to the one Wynn received.
“Like in most major population-dense cities, rodents are common in Toronto. From time to time, rodent populations tend to increase in areas across the city where they are able to more easily find food and shelter.”

“Residents and business owners are responsible for maintaining their own properties to deter and prevent issues with rodents. Information on preventing and removing rodents is available at Toronto.ca/RodentControl.”

While the city’s response mentioned initiatives to control city parks and facilities and urging private property owners to address the issue, there was no mention of taking any action to eradicate the infestation on one of the city’s busiest streets.

The city also said that there had been no complaints regarding the feeding of pigeons outside the curve, and that Toronto Animal Services will “look into this location.”

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO