As of today, backyard chickens are now permitted in Toronto, as part of the city’s new UrbanHensTO program.
The program, which allows Torontonians to keep up to four hens for the purposes of enjoyment and egg production, runs until March 2, 2021.
To be eligible, you must live in a house or townhouse with a backyard and reside in Ward 5 (Etobicoke-Lakeshore), Ward 13 (Parkdale-High Park), Ward 21 (St. Paul’s) or Ward 32 (Beaches-East York).
You must then register your urban hens with the City and construct the coop in compliance with local zoning requirements.
According to the City, keeping hens that aren’t registered or are outside of the pilot areas is prohibited and could result in fines and or charges.
If you’re interested in getting your own hen but don’t have a clue what to do next, staff from the Toronto Animal Services and the Toronto Food Policy Council are holding workshops over the next two months.
At the workshops, residents will learn about pilot requirements, basic care for hens, how to prevent and detect disease, best practices for feeding and care for hens, and coop designs.
But don’t get any crazy ideas, roosters are still banned in the city.