North American beavers are native to Ontario and part of a healthy ecosystem. They are beneficial to wetlands and watersheds as they create and preserve wetlands for many animal, bird and insect species.

Beaver activity in the city

What the City is doing

The City complies with the following provincial regulations and guides to manage beaver activity while keeping infrastructure and property from damage.

Sometimes beaver activity in urban environments can cause damage to infrastructure and property.

The City has set standard operating procedures to address beaver activity based on risk. Our procedures are based on Municipal and Conservation Authority benchmarks and allow us to:

  • preserve wildlife
  • ensure public safety
  • maintain infrastructure
  • protect public and private property

Before a tailored solution is implemented, City staff assess the site reported to have beaver activity for the:

  • level of risk to surrounding residents, property and infrastructure
  • level of effort needed to mitigate the risk
  • options available to mitigate the risk
  • impact a solution may have on beavers

If trapping is required, the City hires a licensed wildlife contractor to meet all safety and provincial guidelines.

The City considers trapping only as a last resort when:

  • no other option is available
  • there is a high risk to the public, infrastructure or property

The City inspects and may remove falling or fallen trees on City property caused by beaver activity.

After removing a tree, the City may consider planting native trees and shrubs to restore the impacted areas.

The City invites residents interested in partaking in restorative efforts. If you’re interested in participating, call 311.

It is illegal to remove or destroy beaver dams without cause and proper precautions, as:

  • beavers may freeze or starve to death during the winter months
  • downstream floods that can cause property damage may occur

The City will investigate beaver dams to assess risks to stormwater or road infrastructure. Staff will address the situation by applying appropriate measures that are in compliance with provincial regulations. 

What you can do

If you encounter a beaver in the City, keep a safe distance. Getting too close can cause them to feel threatened.

If beaver activity impacts your property, consider the following recommendations.

By wrapping trees using heavy galvanized steel mesh or hardware cloth, you can discourage beavers from cutting down trees on your property.

When wrapping trees, make sure to:

  • avoid using chicken wire if possible
  • ensure the wrap doesn’t impede the tree’s natural growth

Beavers are not good climbers and can be deterred with fences that are 1.5 metres tall.

When installing fencing, make sure to:

  • bury it in the ground or tightly fit it to the landscape
  • install it between the source of water, trees and food
  • extend it far enough so that beavers won’t travel around the fence

You may be able to deter beavers from your property by planting trees that don’t attract them, such as:

  • Elderberry
  • Ninebark
  • Twinberry
  • Evergreens

You can also:

  • spray trees with bitter-tasting repellent
  • pain tree trunks with sand and latex paint mix

Contact us

To report a beaver that is sick, hurt or in distress, call Animal Services at 905-896-5858.

To report beaver activity impacting City property, such as parks and watercourse, or submit inquiries or concerns, call 311.