deer swimming toronto

Deer caught on camera speed-swimming past houseboats in Toronto marina

There are many different animals one might expect to find swimming around along the shores of Lake Ontario — fish, beavers, ducks, swans, cormorants... even water spiders. But deer?

It's not every day that someone spots a large-hoofed mammal moving through water in Canada's largest city, not even in Toronto's one-of-a-kind float home community in the Scarborough Bluffs.

Toronto resident Kate Fincham, who has become well-known for her Insta-worthy houseboat lifestyle in recent years, shared some footage from Bluffer's Park Marina on Thursday morning that seems to be surprising for many followers.

"Definitely the strangest thing I've ever seen bob past!" she wrote when sharing a video of what appears to be a very athletic deer swimming past her home.

"I was working away at my desk (which faces the water), when a large moving object caught the corner of my eye. I did a double take when I saw it was a deer!"

As it turns out, deer — like raccoons — are excellent swimmers. Wildlife experts say that they sometimes travel in groups across moving bodies of water, either in search of food or to escape predators. Apparently, they're as fast, if not faster, than humans.

Fincham wasn't the only one surprised by this, of course.

Startled by the sight, she went down to her dock a few minutes after the deer swam by to "check that it was able to make its way out of the water."

She didn't see it swimming around the marina anymore, so assumed that the animal made it out okay, and she was right.

Another resident of the Toronto float house community, Denise Doucet, says she followed up with the marina team to make sure the deer was okay. 

"They are happy to report the deer did manage to swim along the floating home row and made its way to the berm and then scampered away!" she said of the speedy ruminant.

Next stop, The Deerlympics.

Lead photo by


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