comments 2

Deer in the GTA

There are a number of deer living in the area that includes the old arsenal lands and Marie Curtis Park. This is basically the area that forms the Southwest corner of the amalgamated Toronto (the former South Etobicoke) and the Southeast corner of Mississauga. Early this morning, I saw three of them as I drove by, standing very near where the bike path emerges, just south of Lakeshore. There is plenty of forest for them in there, as well as a creek, and besides an occasional coyote, there really isn’t much to bother them in there.



  1. A few years ago I was amazed to see six mule deer walk single file down our street. They were completely comfortable in suburbia.

  2. Salvelinas Fontinalis

    Deer dont need a whole lot of space. They need some grassland for grazing (an acre or two would easily support 3-4 ) and they need a few acres of forest for cover and deep winter browsing. Interestingly deer are quite safe within city boundaries. Hunting is not allowed and there are no real predators so they are well protected. A coyote flat out can not catch a healthy deer and I think a healthy adult deer would beat the snot out of 2 or 3 coyotes. The coyotes might be able to take a sick or wounded deer but they learn quickly that chasing healthy ones is a losing proposition. We have seen deer pass within 10 feet of coyotes here on the farm and while they watch each other carefully the meeting becomes a non event and the coyotes dont even bother to chase. The biggest limitation for the deer will be food supply and that will limit the size of the permanent herd. I almost hit one with the car this morning. I was driving through a minor blizzard with pretty serious whiteout conditions when 3 of them jumped out onto the road and crossed nose to tail in front of me. I only barely managed to stop and missed the trailing deer by 4-5 feet.

    I love to watch the deer in the wild but man are they ever destructive animals. A herd of 8 – 10 deer will destroy 10 acres of wheat each year and our local population gets about a third of my vegetable garden each summer.

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