Toronto Wildlife Centre
Our Impact Why We Exist
Along with providing medical care and rehabilitative treatment to sick, injured and orphaned wild animals, Toronto Wildlife Centre works to fundamentally change the way humans and wildlife live together in our increasingly urban environment. Raising awareness of urban wildlife issues and helping people understand urban wildlife in a new way is a critical part of building healthy, sustainable communities for humans and animals alike.
Our Story What We Do
History of Organization
In 1992, a small group of community volunteers became concerned that there was no organization in Toronto to provide rehabilitative care for sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife, and to help wildlife and people co-exist in an increasingly urban environment.
To meet this need, Toronto Wildlife Centre opened its first facility in 1993, and has since become the busiest wildlife centre in Canada. From its first humble 1,300 sq ft home, TWC now operates off two large properties – one for wildlife care and public education, and the other for pre-release outdoor housing of wild patients. Since 1993, over 85,000 wild animals have been admitted for treatment, and the Centre has expanded to a staff of 25+ and a volunteer base of over 300 people.
TWC’s education programs have also grown exponentially; TWC started a full-time wildlife hotline in 1997 to offer our community help with resolving wildlife situations, from advice about how to help animals in need to resolving human-wildlife conflicts humanely. Education programs now also include media campaigns, community presentations, outreach and organizational training.
Accolades and Accomplishments
- TWC has been open 7 days a week for the last 21 years; we've treated over 85,000 animals from over 270 species and helped countless people.
- TWC was a finalist in the 2009 Green Toronto Awards.
- TWC is frequently in the media. We were a regular guest on CityTV's "Animal House Calls" for many years and have been featured on Global TV's "Making a Difference" segment, CTS's "Always Good News" and "Pet Central" on the Pet Network. TWC was also exclusively selected as the feature organization for a 12-part TV documentary series called "City Wildlife Rescue" on Oasis.
- TWC was the beneficiary of Didier restaurant's annual "Spring for Wildife" dinner.
- TWC was the focus of Jamieson Vitamin's "Feel Well, Do Good" Campaign in 2009.
- TWC's Nursery and Education Kiosk was a part of Ontario Place's Eco-Learning Centre.
- TWC's expert staff are frequently asked to speak at conferences and consulted or asked to play an advisory role by government, wildlife and conservation organisations, and colleges.
Our Programs How We Do It
Wildlife Hotline: Specially trained education staff handle up to 30,000 calls per year on TWC’s internationally recognized wildlife hotline, advising the community about a huge diversity of wildlife situations—from natural history to wildlife conflicts to medical emergencies.
Community Education: TWC’s education program promotes healthy human-wildlife relationships through informational websites, media campaigns, presentations and workshops in schools and at local events, and through development of training tools and programs for educators.
Wildlife Rehabilitation: From admission to release, TWC’s skilled wildlife rehabilitation staff provide supportive care for approximately 5000 animals a year representing over 270 different species from the Greater Toronto Area, including many listed as species-at-risk.
Veterinary Hospital: Providing medical care for wildlife requires skill and innovation: repairing a crushed turtle shell, diagnosing lead poisoning in a loon and suturing a laceration on a fox hit by a car is just a day in the life of TWC’s expert veterinary team.
Wildlife Rescue: Climbing trees, wading into rivers, and crawling over ice, TWC's highly skilled rescue staff carry out challenging, life-saving rescues of wildlife every day of the year.
Oil Spill Response: TWC responds to oil spills in and around Toronto communities; trained staff and volunteers provide help with rescue, transport, medical stabilization, specialized washing and recuperative care for affected wildlife.
What You Can Do
Support one of Toronto Wildlife Centre's unique programs.
- Wildlife Hotline – TWC provides wildlife education in many ways including presentations, online presence, and literature. At the heart of the program is the Wildlife Hotline. The busiest hotline of its kind in North America, TWC’s Wildlife Hotline handles approximately 30,000 calls each year about every wildlife-related situation imaginable from members of the public and organisations. Support of this program will save the lives of countless wild animals by getting them emergency medical care and through preventative education.
- Wildlife Rehabilitation – Toronto Wildlife Centre is the busiest wildlife centre in Canada. Approximately 5,000 sick, injured and orphaned wild animals are admitted each year. TWC’s wildlife rehabilitators are leaders in their field – over 270 different species have been admitted for care. Providing appropriate housing, nutrition, and medical care to such a wide variety of species is incredibly complex. Support of this program will have a direct impact on the lives of wild animals undergoing rehabilitation.
- Wildlife Hospital - Veterinary medicine for Ontario’s native wildlife is a relatively unexplored field. TWC’s head veterinarian Dr. Reid is one of the most experienced wildlife vets in Canada. Constantly finding creative and innovative solutions to the thousands of cases presented to them each year, TWC’s veterinary team are at the forefront of wildlife medicine. Training future wildlife veterinarians and veterinary technicians is becoming an important focus of this program.
- Wildlife Rescue – TWC is the only wildlife centre in Canada with a Rescue program. Trained in swift water rescue, slope evacuation, ice rescues, chemical immobilization and more, TWC’s Wildlife Rescue staff are out in the community carrying out challenging rescues every day of the year.
- Oil Spill Response – Small oil spills occur on a regular basis in Ontario; clean up companies responding to a spill are not trained in wildlife rehabilitation. Toronto Wildlife Centre is the only wildlife centre with trained oil spill response supervisors on staff. Efficient response is critical to saving the lives of wildlife affected by oil spills. Support of this program will ensure wild animals affected by oil spills have a chance at recovery.