Differences of opinion on how to resolve the coyote problem that is getting worse

News 100 redBy Staff

March 29, 2015


The Gazette did not have a reporter at the public meeting last Thursday when the matter of coyotes roaming the parks and ravines of the city was the major issue.

A few days after the meeting we got the following from a resident:

I was walking my dog at 11:30 along the paved trail connecting Burloak to Appleby line. A large Coy wolf was walking along the trail on its own. Clearly was not afraid of me and my large black lab which seemed small compared to this animal. Did not expect this at this time of the day and clearly it was not afraid of us.

I warned a lone jogger who turned and decided to jog in the opposite direction. During the winter I came across a number of rabbits that were being fed on as well. There is a danger from these animals. Clearly the city needs to do something about this.


A coyote sensing field mice beneath the snow prepares to pounce.

Glenda Dodd, a Hager Street resident did attend the meeting at Central arena and sent in the following;

“I would like to make comment on the resounding applause I received from people in attendance. It was for my objection to the proposed bylaw and the fact it is a difficult bylaw to enforce. The stand I took was that Improper Garbage Disposal is what should be controlled. The fact I received such overwhelming response to my remarks is the reason for this e-mail and request that you pay heed to what the people said by their applause.

“I know surrounding areas have “no feeding bylaws” but what good are they if in the meeting it was acknowledged that coyotes are a problem everywhere because of urban expansion. Why have a bylaw if it is already proven to be ineffective in our surrounding cities.

“A number in attendance, because of their personal encounters are now fearful of using their back yards, parks or having evening walks with their dogs, they were looking for more response about what is being done to remove coyote population.


Coyote den with pups.

Dodd adds: “Across from my house in the wee hours, I have seen a coyote walk up our street past the apartment building through the parking lot to the Hydro right of way. According to people who walk dogs, there is a coyote den not far from my area (I’m assuming from their description that it could be somewhere around or past Grahams Lane). I have not walked the area to find it.

Because of this proximity I feel as familiar as anyone in the City to speak regarding Coyotes and the proposed by law.  I strongly object to the proposed By-Law regarding feeding of animals.

“That is what they wanted, not a bylaw forbidding feeding. Whether there is a bylaw or not, if anyone suspects coyotes are being fed, a field observation would have to be made in order to apprehend whoever is doing and bylaw or not, if they really wanted to do such a thing would just become more evasive and discreet.

“I truly believe that instead of trying to redefine what a nuisance animal means the bylaw idea should be dropped altogether. Concentrate on something that can be enforced, like garbage and yard waste accumulation that houses mice and rats.

“We do not need a paint brush bylaw…Canada Geese and Seagulls are a specific problem then do what Midland did and enact a bylaw to prohibit the “Feeding of Canada Geese and Seagulls”

“As you admit, (Dodd is referring to either the Bylaw enforcement officer or the Mayor) it would be difficult to enforce such a bylaw, so why have it, to use in a worst case scenario, please. My comment was about not needing what was presented, that is what was approved via the applause I received. What the people wanted to know was what are you doing about the coyotes, they want them removed, not a nuisance feeding bylaw.

Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven, in an email response to Dodd said: “There was no “resounding applause.”
“What I heard was that people want support for the coyote problem. A wildlife feeding bylaw is a reasonable next step.

Councillor Craven may have felt his McMAster jacket would ward off some negative comment.  Don't think it did - every member of Council had their ears bent by the 125 people who showed up at the Mainway Arena SAturday afternoon.

Councillor Craven will often dress for the occasion.  In a previous public meeting he chose to wear his McMaster jacket.

“Yes, it would be difficult to enforce such a bylaw, but it would probably only be done on an exception basis to deal with the worst case scenarios. i.e. the gentleman in Tyandaga who is feeding the Canada geese in Fairchild Park to the point of damaging the park grass and attracting rodents….upsetting his neighbours.”

Unfortunately, the draft bylaw that was proposed does not appear to be on the city’s web site. We will work at digging this out and continue the discussion.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

7 comments to Differences of opinion on how to resolve the coyote problem that is getting worse

  • Jacob Marley

    Didn’t I hear ( ? SOMEWHERE ? ) that the Province is responsible for COYO control in Burlington?

    Well, according to the Province and Ministry Records, they are not!


    “The law

    Municipalities can use licensed hunters or trappers to help deal with furbearing mammals (e.g., coyotes, beavers, skunks, etc.) within their municipal boundaries.

    These animal control activities can only be carried out during the open season unless the animal is damaging or about to damage property.

    The municipality:

    •sets the terms of arrangements with the hunter or trapper

    •pays for any services

    A municipality does not need a special permit or authorization from the Ministry of Natural Resources to do this.”


    Deer herd ‘preserves’ use specially-designed tranquilizer guns to protect and ‘cull’ to return deer to health. They are readily available on the market. I’m sure the correct, variable dosage of tranquilizer is also available.

  • BCarlton

    I live in the Goodram Spruce area and see Coyotes all the time as they use Shoreacres Creek and area as their hunting territory. When walking the dogs we always carry a whistle and are very cautious of our surroundings. These animals are a nuisance and should be trapped and relocated to a non urban environment. Unfortunately it will take an attack on a child before anything gets done. With the increased population it’s just a question of time.

  • jacob marley

    On Rockwood( central east Burlington) a dog was attacked and dragged by a large, healthy, coyote. Fortunately, for the dog and dog owner, the dog did not sustain any serious injury because the coyote released its hold on the dog due to the dog owner’s upset.

    What is this nonsense about NOT FEEDING wild animals? Is that a contrivance to make the Ward 4 councillor look like a concerned and caring citizen?

    If a COYO attacks me or my dog … the COYO had better be ready for an abrupt, fierce, counter-attack.

    Animal control had better devise a better method to handle coyotes. This peaceful co-existence “stuff” is nonsense. How would you protect your children from a COYO attack?

    If either my dog or myself acquired RABIES from such an attack, you can bet my lawyer would be at city-hall post-haste.

  • tenni

    One more point. I heard that the coyotes have come to Burlington via the lower bridge near the beach? Examining what has caused this increase of city coyotes needs research. How to lower the numbers is a question. How to learn how to live with this threat as seems to be the position of Toronto when it comes to city coyote. Information on how to protect your pets and small children may be needed. This bylaw is just one step and more may be needed.

  • tenni

    It is difficult for me to understand those who do not want this non feeding wildlife bylaw? Their rationale is that it will not solve the problem of coyotes. Instead of being negative, a more positive perspective is to stop residents from feeding wildlife which logically suggests encourages wildlife to gather in cities. No food means no guess or mice.

    The bylaw may not solve the issue of danger from coyotes for domestic dogs and pets but it warns or educate humans who think that feeding birds is a good thing. I don’t know if I have heard of a coyote attacking an adult. I have not heard of a coyote attacking a small child but that might be more likely.

    I heard two years ago about a coyote sighting in my southwest Burlington neighbourhood park. The coyote was in trees near a baseball diamond. I was warned by a woman in the park as I walked my small dog. The coyote was seen in the daytime. We have a lot of rabbits that come out in noticeable numbers at night. The bunny food is there to attract larger animal prey like a coyote. I’ve never seen anyone feed the rabbits but the rabbits are fairly brazen as well. They are just not a danger to humans or pets.

  • Mr. Wonderful

    Do not feed wild animals. It is not good for them for many reasons. Listen to people who know about wild animals and learn from them. In this city, some people need common sense bylaws as a friendly reminder. As someone who was raised by wolves, I support bylaws to protect all my wild cousins including my pet giraffe who enjoys chocolate cake.