Urban Fishing in the Toronto Area


Ontario is blessed with over 250,000 lakes and countless kilometres of rivers and streams. People come from all over the world to visit and fish its pristine wilderness waters for some of the finest fishing on earth.


Of the wide range of fishing opportunities available to Ontario residents, the ones that are possibly the most overlooked are those that are, quite literally, right in our own back yard. That’s right: the pond, lake or river found within the town or city where you live may very well be a "hot spot" - just waiting for you to wet a line, and catch "the big one".

Residents of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) are especially fortunate as they have more than 50 public waterways nearby that offer public access to fine fishing for a variety of freshwater species.



These areas, along with directions and the types of species available, are all listed in a handy little booklet entitled Urban Fishing Opportunities in Toronto and Surrounding Areas. This publication is produced in association with the Toronto Region Conservation Authority.


One of the many places highlighted within the booklet lies a short ferry ride from the shores of downtown Toronto. The Toronto Islands have several different types of fish residing near their waters and, at certain times of the year, can offer anglers a chance at catching a true trophy.


In the GTA, the Ministry of Natural Resources stocks more than 1.5 million fish every year for urban anglers. The majority of these stocking efforts are within the Lake Ontario watershed. Popular rivers that enter the lake, such as the Humber and the Credit, are stocked with brown or rainbow trout, chinook, coho or even some Atlantic salmon. With limited natural reproduction, these cold water species are the main fish stocked in the GTA. They can be caught along stretches of riverbanks from public areas along the Lake Ontario waterfront or out in a boat. In fact, Lake Ontario has a renowned charter boat fishery right on Ontario's doorstep.


For those who would prefer fishing for the GTA's warm-water fish species, such as carp, catfish, sunfish, suckers, perch, black crappie or bass, there are several public ponds, rivers, marshes and lakes with great fishing. Perhaps best of all, these species within the GTA's urban waterways do not require additional stocking efforts as all of these fish reproduce on their own.


For many urban families with young children, these plentiful, fun-to-catch species offer a greater likelihood of "catching" instead of just "fishing" for fish.


For more information on Urban Fishing Opportunities in the GTA:


Wil Wegman
Extension Services Assistant, Aurora District