Coyotes in Thornhill

Councillor Keith Irish recently sent out an update concerning the coyote situation in Thornhill. Please see his correspondence below:

Further to media reports over the last several weeks, I want you to be aware of some recent incidents with coyotes in our Thornhill neighbourhood.

I am aware of encounters between people and their pets with coyotes in the greenspace south of Elgin Street where EJ Sand and Woodland Public Schools once stood. I’ve also heard of sightings in Honsberger Field, Pomona Mills Park and in the grassy area behind Baythorn Public School near Royal Orchard Park. I saw two coyotes myself late at night earlier this month where I live on Eliza Street.

City of Markham enforcement officers have confirmed the existence of one coyote family, soon to have offspring, in our community. Coyotes do roam a distance from their dens in order to find food, but only one family resides within a one-kilometre radius.

I acknowledge that this is concerning especially with so many of us out walking for exercise during the pandemic. However, I have been assured by the city’s Animal Services team that coyotes are often more frightened of us than we are of them.

City officers will continue to patrol these areas and educate residents on responsible pet ownership, keeping dogs on a leash, not leaving food or garbage outside, and not feeding wildlife of any kind. These are important measures to take in order to keep everyone safe.

There is an abundance of information available online and I provide some particularly helpful links below. However, in the event you encounter a coyote you should do the following:

  • Carry a whistle/noisemaker and an umbrella with you when walking and open it at them.
  • Be BIG and LOUD! Yell “Go away!” Wave your arms above your head, stomp feet, clap hands.
  • Slowly back away.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Don’t run.

For more information, please visit these helpful links below:


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