Get hooked on fishing in Toronto; the finest shore fishing in Southern Ontario
Why fish in Toronto?
City of Toronto parks, the Toronto Islands and Lake Ontario offer 25 kilometres of great public shore fishing. A variety of fish species are constantly replenishing the population.
Toronto has over 15 kinds of fish that anglers can catch, including carp, trout, bass, salmon and pike.
Most of the fishing sites are easy to get to by TTC, bicycle and foot. Fishing on the Toronto Island is a five-minute ferry ride away from the foot of Bay Street.
Fishing Laws and Regulations
You can fish almost anywhere in Toronto, on public lands (except where "no fishing" signs are posted) as long as you have a valid Outdoors Card and a fishing license tag. The card and tag are available from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR).
You can only fish from shore with one rod and reel at a time. No nets or other devices may be used to catch game fish. You cannot snag fish.
There is a limit to how many fish you can catch in one day and how many fish you can store at home. Each species is different. Some fish species have year-round open seasons, while others have only certain seasons when you can legally fish for them. Before you wet a line … know the rules! To understand all the rules and regulations, visit ontario.ca/fishing.
How to get a fishing license
Both an Outdoors Card and a Fishing License can be purchased online at ontario.ca/fishing or from a Service Ontario Centre. You need both licenses (or a one-day license) to legally fish in Ontario.
Public places to fish in Toronto
Note: Fishing is allowed anywhere along the lake, on City of Toronto parkland except in the shipping channels,
- Toronto Islands: Ferry from foot of Bay St.
- Tommy Thompson Park
- Ashbridges Bay Park
- Grenadier Pond—south end only (inside High Park - see permitted fishing area)
- Humber River Marsh: Mouth of Humber River upstream to Lakeshore Blvd.
- Rouge River Marsh: Lawrence Ave. east of Port Union Rd.
- Bluffers Park
- Upper Main Rouge River: Public lands upstream of Hwy. 2
- Lower Humber River at Etienne Brule Park
- Eglinton Flats
- G. Ross Lord Park
- Humber Bay Park East
- Colonel Samuel Smith Park
- Marie Curtis Park
- Centennial Park
- Summerlea Park
Disclaimer: These fishing sites are located on public lands; however, in some instances the distinction of public and private land may not be clearly evident. It is the responsibility of anglers to ensure that they are accessing public lands only. For more information about urban fishing in Toronto visit the Ontario MNR
- Respect other park users. Share the shoreline.
- Respect the health and safety of wildlife and their habitat.
- Cast with caution. Watch out for other people.
- Avoid wildlife, trees and dense vegetation.
- Carefully dispose of fishing line and hooks in a designated receptacle or garbage bin, or take them home with you.
- Catch-and-release is recommended. Be sure to safely remove the hook and line (needle-nose pliers or forceps are helpful).
- Consider using barbless hooks, lead-free sinkers and artificial lures.
- Fish only during daylight hours to avoid losing your line.
- Report resource abuse and violations to the TIPS - MNR line 1-877-847-7667 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS
Is it safe to eat fish caught in Toronto?
Most species, especially smaller fish, can be eaten. However, some of the larger fish should not be eaten. Visit ontario.ca/fishguide or call the Ministry of the Environment's Sport Fishing Contaminant Monitoring Program at 1-800-565-4923 or 416-325-4000 for more information.
Most fishing locations have no cleaning facilities so please wait until you get home to clean your fish. Place your catch in a cooler with ice to keep it cool and fresh.
You don't have to keep your catch. You can use catch and release and selective harvest to protect the future of fishing. The following practices will help you release your catch in good condition.
Catch and Release
These basic tips will help you release your catch in good condition so that someday someone else may enjoy catching that fish, too.
- Do not take the fish out of the water for longer than necessary to remove the hook or quickly take a photo.
- Minimize handling of the fish so that you do not remove its protective slime coat.
- Don’t allow the fish to lay around on the grass or rocks.
- Never grab a fish by the gills or eyes.
- To release the fish hold it in the water facing into the current and move it gently back and forward until the fish swims off.
Selective harvest means taking only a certain size or species of fish and voluntarily releasing the rest. For instance, a big bass over three pounds should be released because it is important to the future of quality fishing. Keeping a couple small, one-pound bass or some panfish for the table is a better choice.
Toronto's Fish Selection (not necessarily available at all locations)
The following fish are available in the Toronto area: carp, pike, yellow perch, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, rock bass, black crappie and brown bullhead catfish. Anglers may also find Coho or Chinook salmon, rainbow trout, brown trout, bowfin, white perch, gizzard shad, white suckers and even the highly prized walleye.
To identify and learn more about these species visit the Ontario MNR site at ontario.ca/fishing