Residents are advised that there have been reported black bear sightings in various locations in the urban area of the Municipality.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) cautions that at this time of year, natural food sources for bears can be scarce, so bears are seeking other available food sources (attractants), some of which may be available on or near your property. It is recommended that residents follow these steps to ensure that attractants are not available on or near residential properties:

  • Store garbage properly and do not put your garbage at the curb for pick up until the morning of garbage collection day. Residents in the rural area should bring their garbage to the transfer station regularly.
  • Clean garbage containers with strong cleanser regularly.
  • Remove all bird feeders during foraging period – only use feeders during the winter months.
  • Do not leave any food outdoors or inside your vehicles.
  • Do not place sweets or meats in outdoor composters.
  • Pick fruit as it ripens. Do not let it rot on the ground.
  • Freeze meat scraps until day of garbage pickup to help eliminate the smells.
  • Clean barbecue regularly, empty the grease trap and remove all used utensils, dishes and food after eating.
  • Protect livestock feed
  • Use electric fencing for apiaries, fruit trees and landfill sites.
  • Bring pet food indoors each night.

Residents should always keep their dogs on a leash and ensure that their pets are brought inside at night. If these attractants are not available for the bear, the bear will move on in search of food elsewhere.

If you encounter a black bear

The Ministry advises that when bears are caught off guard, they are stressed, and usually just want to flee. Generally, the noisier the bear is, the less dangerous it is, provided you do not approach. The noise is meant to “scare” you off and acts as a warning signal.

In the event of a black bear encounter,

DO:

  • Slowly back away while keeping the bear in sight and wait for it to leave
  • If the bear does not leave, throw objects, wave your arms and make noise with a whistle or air horn
  • Prepare to use bear spray
  • If you are near a building or vehicle get inside as a precaution

DO NOT:

  • Run, climb a tree or swim — a bear can do these things much better than you
  • Kneel down
  • Make direct eye contact 

If you spot a bear, please report all non-emergency sightings to the Bear Wise reporting line (1-866-514-2327). This will allow the Ministry to better track bear sightings/movement. Call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.

Please refer to the MNRF Bear Wise website, which contains additional information about black bears and how to avoid bear encounters.