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.

Beavers are protected and regulated provincially and federally under the following acts:

Damaged, falling or fallen trees

If a tree is falling or has fallen because of beaver activity and it’s blocking a pathway or causing property damage, call 311.

After the falling or fallen trees are removed, the City may decide to plant native trees and shrubs to restore the impacted areas. If you’re interested in helping with the restorative efforts, call 311.

Trapping and relocating beavers

Under Ontario’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, you are prohibited from:

  • Capturing and relocating beavers
  • Using body gripping traps

Not only are body gripping traps illegal, but they also pose a big risk to public safety. In addition, trapping or relocating beavers will not resolve the issue as it does not deter other beavers from moving in.

Removing or destroying beaver dams

Unless you are a licensed trapper with a permit from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, you’re prohibited from removing or destroying beaver dams as doing so can cause:

  • Beavers to freeze or starve to death during the winter months. This can be considered cruelty to animals and an offence under the Canadian Criminal Code.
  • Downstream floods that can cause property damage. If you remove or destroy a beaver dam, you will be held liable for all property damage it causes.

The City will investigate beaver dams suspected of posing a risk to stormwater or road infrastructure. The City will then address the situation in compliance with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.

How to protect your property

There are several ways you can protect your property from beavers safely and humanely.

By wrapping trees using heavy galvanized steel mesh or hardware cloth, you can discourage beavers from cutting down trees in 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

In addition, you can spray trees with bitter-tasting repellent to deter them. You may need to re-apply the spray after rainfall.

You can also consider painting tree trunks with sand and latex paint mix.

Installing a humane beaver baffle or leveller system can regulate water levels and prevent beavers from rebuilding a destroyed dam.

Before you install a beaver baffle or leveller system ensure the environmental effects of using the tools are considered by an environmental expert before it is installed.

Encountering a beaver

Beavers aren’t a big safety risk. However, they should be avoided as they are wild animals wary of people.

If you encounter a beaver, we recommend keeping a safe distance. In addition, you should avoid drawing close to them, as that may cause them to feel threatened.

Contact Animal Services

If you see a sick, hurt or distressed beaver in Mississauga, call Animal Services at 905-896-5858.