Salmon are migrating through Toronto's waterways this weekend

Oct 16 2020, 3:23 pm

With the city being plunged back into stage 2 and sunny weather in the forecast, it’s the perfect weekend to get outside and explore Toronto’s natural beauty.

What better way to experience the great outdoors than by watching the salmon run?

Every year in September and October, thousands of salmon swim upstream through Ontario’s waterways to spawn, according to the Great Lakes Guide. With COVID-19 limiting many fall activities, more people are getting out to witness the phenomenon.

The fish journey through rivers and streams connected to the great lakes, returning to the same place they were born to lay their eggs, says the guide.

The most awe-inspiring part for onlookers, though, is watching the fish leap out of the water.

Although they can weigh more than 13 kilograms, they’re able to jump over three meters out of the water as they navigate obstacles, says the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA).

Chinook, Coho, and Atlantic salmon can all be found in Toronto’s waterways, says Don Little, an environmental technologist with the Aquatic Monitoring and Management group at the TRCA.

Lake Ontario used to be filled with Atlantic salmon, says the TRCA. In the early 1800s it was reported that they “swarmed the rivers so thickly that they were thrown out with a shovel and even with the hand.” But they were declared locally extinct by 1898. In 2006 restoration project was launched to bring back the salmon.

The TRCA reports that the best spots to watch the salmon run around the GTA can be found at:

  • The Humber River in Étienne Brûlé Park
    • 13 Crosby Avenue, Toronto
  • The Don River in the Charles Sauriol Conservation Area
    • 701 Don Mills Road, Toronto
  • Highland Creek in Morningside Park
    • 390 Morningside Avenue, Toronto
  • The Rouge River in the Glen Rouge Campground
    • 7450 Kingston Road, Toronto.
  • Duffins Creek in Whitevale Park
    • 371 Whitevale Road, Pickering.
  • The Credit River in Erindale Park
    • 1695 Dundas Street West, Mississauga

Note: While local parks, shops, and events are reopened, Toronto Public Health is reminding individuals to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. And if you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. If you decide to go out, maintain the six-feet physical distancing guidelines and wear a mask.

Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

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