Toronto rats

Rats have completely taken over an alley in Toronto

Be it resolved that rats, as individual creatures, are pretty cute. Like raccoons, they're clever, they're furry and they possess preciously dexterous little hands.

Unlike the raccoon, a single female rat can birth hundreds of baby rats in a year — and when those babies have babies who have babies who have babies... well, colonies grow remarkably fast, and those colonies can be downright terrifying (Google "rat king" if you don't believe me).

One particular alley behind a group of restaurants in Toronto's Annex neighbourhood appears to be experiencing a boom in its rat population this spring, making for some happy feral cats, I'm sure.

Local residents aren't necessarily thrilled by the situation, but some brave souls have been compelled to film it.

Disturbing to some and adorable to others, their video footage proves that there are way too many rats living in the alley just north of Bloor on the east side of Bathurst — just steps from Bathurst station behind a large CIBC bank.

"It's behind four eating establishments; the Amnesia pub, The Fry, The Jerk King, and Tonkatsu," wrote Christian Bobak in the caption of a video he shared to Facebook on Friday.

A few weeks ago, Nick Wons captured some compelling rat footage in the exact same alley after hearing noises coming from a garbage bin.

"I wish I had my light on my camera turned on the first time I had tried to record it, because I sh*t you not at least a dozen jumped out before the video with the light on," he wrote in a direct message on Facebook. "SO. GROSS."

The City of Toronto is aware of the situation, according to 311, but says "additional details need to be captured." 

As for why the rat boom is happening in this particular alley now, some blame construction, which has been known to uproot rats from their nests and cause mini-migrations.

"Not surprised. With so much construction going on it's disturbing their underground 'homes' and they are surfacing and eating all the garbage," commented Toronto resident Hugh Sturdy on Twitter in response to Bobak's video.

"I agree 100%," replied another Torontonian named Jessann Reece. "This nonstop construction is forcing them out of their habitats. It sucks for them... even worse for us!"

Good luck, rat friends.

Lead photo by

Nick Wons


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