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Frequently asked questions

What does Toronto Wildlife Centre do?

Toronto Wildlife Centre is a registered charity that provides medical care and rehabilitation to sick, injured and orphaned wild animals. Toronto Wildlife Centre also educates the public about wildlife and wildlife related issues. We serve the community through several programs and services.

What kinds of animals does Toronto Wildlife Centre admit?

Toronto Wildlife Centre works with wild animals native to southern Ontario. Since opening in 1993, we have admitted over 270 different species of wildlife, from tiny hummingbirds to wolves and everything in between! The only wild animals living in southern Ontario that we are not able to admit due to a lack of appropriate caging are adult deer and bears.

I found a sick, injured or orphaned wild animal that needs help, what should I do?

If you have found a sick, injured or orphaned wild animal, or a wild animal in distress, please contact our wildlife hotline. To help us get back to you faster, please fill out our online Request for Assistance Form. If you can’t access the form, call us at (416) 631-0662 to leave a message and we will respond as soon as possible. Please visit our website for assessment and temporary care instructions.

Why should I call Toronto Wildlife Centre’s Wildlife Hotline before bringing in a sick, injured or orphaned wild animal

There are times when bringing an animal into the Centre before consulting with a Hotline staff member can do more harm than good. And during busy times of year some animals may need to be redirected to other facilities.

Where are you located?

Toronto Wildlife Centre is located at 60 Carl Hall Road , Unit 4, in Parc Downsview Park near the intersection of Keele and Sheppard in North York.

What are your hours of operation?

Toronto Wildlife Centre is open from 9AM until 6PM, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year.
*Please note that on December 24th, 25th, 26th, 31st, and January 1st, hours are 9am to 4pm.

Can I visit the centre and see some animals?

The patient care areas of Toronto Wildlife Centre are not open to the public. Because the animals in our care are wild, to be in captivity is a terrifying experience for them. Stress can severely inhibit recovery from injury or illness, and can even be fatal. Therefore, our staff and volunteers go to great lengths to reduce stress, and keep contact with humans (even visual contact) to an absolute minimum.

Toronto Wildlife Centre does have a public area at our facility in Parc Downsview Park where visitors may be able to see animals through one-way viewing windows. Each year, a behind-the-scenes tour of the entire facility is offered to donors during Toronto Wildlife Centre’s Annual Open House.

What geographic areas does Toronto Wildlife Centre serve?

Toronto Wildlife Centre serves the GTA, but we help when we can in areas outside of the GTA.
Please note: During the spring and summer, due to increased demand, Toronto Wildlife Centre may have to limit services within some municipalities.

Is there a wildlife rehabilitation centre closer to me?

Unfortunately there is a shortage of wildlife centres and licensed wildlife rehabilitators in Ontario. For many communities, Toronto Wildlife Centre is the only wildlife centre serving their area. If you have found an animal in need of help, our Hotline staff can help you identify whether or not there are certified wildlife rehabilitators in your area that accept the species that you’ve found, as well as the best course of action for that animal. Please fill out our online Request for Assistance Form, or call (416) 631-0662, follow the voice prompts and leave a detailed message. A highly trained staff member will return your call as quickly as possible. Alternately, please contact your local district office of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry – their online list of wildlife rehabilitators can be found here.

Why doesn’t Toronto Wildlife Centre have a pick-up service?

Providing medical treatment and rehabilitation for wildlife is extremely resource-intensive. Because Toronto Wildlife Centre does not charge individuals for treating the animals that they have found and brought in, and because we rely on donations and volunteers, we unfortunately do not currently have the resources for a pick-up service.

What are the most common reasons for wild animals being admitted to Toronto Wildlife Centre?

Almost every animal brought in to Toronto Wildlife Centre has become sick, injured or orphaned due to some sort of human related activity. The most common reasons include: attacks by cats, hit by cars, collisions with windows, destruction of habitat, attacks by dogs, and becoming orphaned.

What are the most common species admitted to Toronto Wildlife Centre?

Not surprisingly, Toronto Wildlife Centre regularly admits the species that are common to Southern Ontario, including rock pigeons, eastern grey and red squirrels, numerous species of migratory songbirds, raccoons and striped skunks. Each year, close to 200 different species are admitted, and over 270 species have been admitted since the centre opened.

What’s the rarest, most unusual, dangerous or strange animal Toronto Wildlife Centre has ever admitted?

We have admitted a wide variety of species over the years, some found in very unusual circumstances, including a striped skunk that had hitchhiked on a truck all the way from California, grey wolves suffering from mange, a brown pelican and two purple gallinules that had blown far off course from their native Florida, a scorpion that had traveled in a suitcase from Costa Rica, and many more accidental travelers.

Why doesn’t Toronto Wildlife Centre admit domestic animals, like cats, dogs, chickens, etc.?

The medical, social, caging and general resource needs of domestic animals are very different from the needs of sick, injured and orphaned wild animals. Although we feel the treatment and care of domestic animals is equally important, Toronto Wildlife Centre was created specifically to address the lack of services available in wildlife rehabilitation, and have specialized our resources to meet the needs of wildlife. Similarly, veterinary clinics set up to meet the needs of domestic animals are not equipped to provide rehabilitation to wildlife

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities

At Toronto Wildlife Centre we strive to make our services accessible for individuals living with disabilities. If there is something that we can improve on, please let us know by sending an send an e-mail. All feedback will be reviewed within 7 business days and we will make every effort to accommodate all reasonable requests.

Thank you!