deer in toronto

Someone spotted a wild deer in one of Toronto's park playgrounds

A deer was spotted in the early hours of May 24, roaming a playground right in the middle of the city - quite an unexpected wake up call for anyone who was out on their morning walk. 

Walking right around Albert Crosland Park near Queen St. and Fuller Ave. in Parkdale, the deer hung around the park for a while until running out along Queen St. West and escaping behind a nearby Shoppers Drug Mart. 

The main witness behind this event, Nicole Dowzansky, happens to be a park ranger with lots of experience working in ecological restoration and invasive control in the city. She noted that while it's strange to spot a deer in such a small park in a highly urbanized area, deer can be spotted in and around the city all the time

"Deer are really good at adjusting to urban lifestyles. It's not unusual to see deer quite often, just like we see coyotes in this city all the time," said Dowzansky. 

"A little parkette around behind Queen Street West is uncommon [though]. I was quite surprised to see him there at the time."

Dowzansky says that the deer was a young male white-tailed deer with tiny antlers on him, likely born just last spring. She tried calling the city to report the deer sighting, but stated that they didn't seem fazed that it was there and that nobody comes out unless an animal is injured. 

People who passed by even tried to keep the deer in the park so that it wouldn't run out on Queen, others even taking out sections of their fence so that it could make its way through their backyards instead of running along the city streets. 

Dowzansky emphasized a need to keep wildlife corners open in the city so that animals like deer have the chance to move around freely throughout urban areas instead of being confined to small parks. 

"Keeping those green spaces green and keeping wildlife corridors open is very, very important. The poor [deer] was scared and injuring himself trying to break away, basically cornered in an alley," explained Dowzansky. 

"You know, we're not the only critters that live here."

Lead photo by

Nicole Dowzansky

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