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No mushrooms in Southern Ontario

In the last few days, an alarming number internet surfers have landed on my blog after searching for information on edible mushrooms in Southern Ontario. I would like to ease the troubled minds of these individuals right now. There are no edible mushrooms outside of grocery stores in Southern Ontario. None. Zero. Nada. Zip. Don’t even bother going out for a look. You won’t find any. Let me spell it out. Southern Ontario is a terrible place to go mushroom hunting. Ever since the edible mushroom blight of 2006, all edible mushrooms in Southern Ontario have either disappeared entirely or have been seen hitch-hiking to Quebec. As I mentioned in an earlier post back in the spring, Eastern Ontario and Quebec are both excellent places. I’ve heard North-West Ontario and Manitoba have their moments too. Here in Southern Ontario, though, I wouldn’t bother even trying if I were you.

I should also take a moment to remind you, gentle readers, that there are many species of deadly poisonous mushrooms in Southern Ontario. Many of those can be confused for the tasty edible kind. I don’t recommend you eat any mushrooms you pick from a Southern Ontario forest. The best thing to do if you pick some and you are not 100% certain what you have, is to give them to me. I’m willing to take one for the team and eat the ones I think are edible.

Finally, a special note to the guy who keeps doing searches for “King Bolete Map Southern Ontario” and “Porcini map Southern Ontario” and “edible mushroom hotspots Southern Ontario”,  I love your faith in your fellow humans, your confidence that if there were king boletes in Southern Ontario (there are NO EDIBLE MUSHROOMS IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO outside of grocery stores), someone would draw you a map to them.


  1. Cody Saun

    Southern Ontario is some of the finest mushroom foraging in North America. I know because I pick mushroom commercially, coast to coast. The only place thats better is just below Alaska on the BC coast. Seems like a rather pointless post, if youre just joking around. The diversity of species found around the Great Lakes is unrivaled

    • John

      I was out on Saturday and found only two Porcini ,, near Harwood Ontario under a stand of pines.. One was a large old boy about 8 inches tall with about an 8 inch cap… It had that spongy yellow/ green under the big brown cap sure sign of age… When I sliced it open I noticed the little white worms had all ready got into the stem and cap,, what a shame.. The other one was a nice firm juvenile about 6 inches tall with a nice fat stem and firm dense white sponge under a dark brown cap,, needless to say that one ended up diced; spiced and in the frying pan with olive oil…😎

  2. Boon w

    Ha, I see where you’re going with this. You’re right. There’s nothing. Anywhere. Go to the store.

  3. When I seen the title of this post, I just had to open it. I’m sorry you didn’t find any ‘shrooms down south as we always have tons of them up here in the north country. I’m in Temagami (located “on the back side” of the paper Ontario map) and along with my wife, we operate Northland Paradise Lodge ( where we literally pick countless varieties by the pail full every year. A typical season would be 10 of the 5-gallon while plastic pails that everybody is familiar with. I have identified approximately 150 different varieties of which about a third are edible and posted them on the website. Our favorites are the pine boletes, oysters, millers, slippery jacks, chanterelles, lobsters, strap shaped corals, russulas and the shaggy manes but we have tried all of them. We smother a moose roast with onions, garlic and huge puffballs that customers from “the south” bring every year. If you can handle the easy 5-hour drive from “Hog-town”, bring lots of freezer bags and coolers next year; you won’t be disappointed. FYI … your first stop light is North Bay and with luck, it will be green.

    • Hey Doug my tongue was firmly in my cheek when I wrote this post, but I know it is true you have plenty of mushrooms in your area. Are dogs allowed at your lodge? I awlaws take my Newfs foraging with me.

  4. Maggie

    Found lots of porcini mushrooms this year 🙂 somewhere between Milton and Kitchener. Mwahahahaha

  5. Karen

    Hmm, just read your opinion on Slippery Jacks. Just had them for the first time last night & they’re mild but pretty good if you ask me – a softer mushroom though, so it’s probably a texture preference kind of thing.
    I lived in BC and found many lobster mushrooms, pine mushrooms, chanterelles & such in the mountains some years, but not the amazing puffballs and field mushrooms that grow here!

  6. Karen

    We pick meadow mushrooms by the grocery bag full during the early autumn months. There are also morels in the spring, shaggy manes during the summer/fall, red chanterelles, puffballs of many types, oyster mushrooms and parasol mushrooms, to name a few. Are you by chance looking to get “specific” information in order to take advantage of smeon else’s patch? Just curious, because your comments make absolutely no sense.

  7. Peter

    Couple years ago We pick up many kind of wild mushroom in S. Ontario close to lake Erie forest,
    All mushroom requred wet weather and more rein and worm night. This year was dry season and mushroom not growing. The best place is Turkey Point area.

  8. Honey

    glad you know nothing about edible wild mushrooms in the forests of ontario….more for me, have been picking and eating these delicious morsels for 73 years, am already checking my favourite areas, just waiting for the first crop…..and i only pick the kind i know, the other beauties I just admire..

  9. Nan St Louis

    I have a wonderful time finding sidewalk mushrooms about 10 different spots in my town. Golf course has puff balls and other edibles. I know a spot where there are shaggy mane, have to get them early and Driads saddle everywhere. Of course, lots of inedibles. Tried fairy ring… why would anyone eat those? Meadow mushrooms also. So… yes, there are edibles in Southern Ontario.

  10. TOMAS


  11. Dan

    I agree that there are some good mushrooms out there, I Have found them many times and I’m only a few hrs away from the GTO. You just have to be carfull at what you get get and when but once you find them ohhh is a good dinner that night.

  12. Hi Kevin. Perhaps you’ve been into the mushrooms of the hippy-dippy kind, imagining there are chanterelles and morels and so on around here. Not true. You don’t want to give people false impressions, my friend. Else they might feel compelled to go out to local forests and waste their valuable time looking. It’s best to simply assure folks that any trips to local forests are a waste of time. Trust me. I visit local forest all the time just to be sure. I concede there are slippery jacks, but then again calling slippery jacks edible mushrooms is pushing things, isn’t it? They are truly sad excuses for tasty edibles. My neighbour has them on his front lawn every year. Pick them, Mister Anchovy, he says. Ah, no thanks. You pick them.

  13. Also, can’t forget those Slippery Jacks! Mhmmm! Just remember to skin the film off of the cap or you will be running to the bathroom excessively like I did.

  14. I am sorry to say, but I believe you are wrong friend. You see, I think your absolute statement of not one edible mushroom across all the forests and belts of SO is going a bit overboard.

    There are tons of chanterelles, morels, honey mushrooms and this is just me going to forests around the Greater Toronto Area.

    Obviously finding a king B is a long shot, but I think given the right climate conifer-y conditions before the winter the Gravenhurst area of Southern Ontario and places like Algonquin Park ( if you take into account that Southern Ontario begins from North Bay downwards.) it is an astute possibility.

    Let me know if there is glaring error in my logic. Thanks.

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