TORONTO – Feeding pigeons may soon be outlawed in the City of Toronto.
Licensing chairman Cesar Palacio got the licensing committee to vote Monday to have staff look at the possibility of prohibiting the feeding of pigeons in public spaces in the city.
“There are public places, for example Yonge-Dundas Square or piazzas in my ward, where very often it is becoming a nuisance because of feeding,” the Ward 17 (Davenport) councillor said. “What I’m asking is if there is a way to work together with those that feel very passionate about it but also to maintain the cleanliness of it.”
Right now, anyone could feed pigeons in most of the city’s public spaces — though the parks bylaw does ban the feeding of any birds in Toronto parks.
Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti warned a push for pigeon rules in the past had been ruled out of order but Palacio said city staff confirmed the request for a report was fine.
“The pigeon lobby is vicious, vicious,” joked Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker.
The pigeon-feeding crackdown request came as the licensing committee was debating a report on options for mitigating human-wildlife conflict in the city. Councillors also endorsed having staff explore the feasibility of a bylaw that would ban feeding wild animals on private property and to look at starting to provide operating funding to the Toronto Wildlife Centre in the 2016 budget.
In the lead-up to the vote, councillors lamented various aspects of the city’s wildlife.
Mammoliti came out firmly against rats and mice while De Baeremaeker admitted he loves birds and saluted the brainpower of the city’s raccoon population.
“The raccoons are very smart,” De Baeremaeker told the committee.
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