They're our honorary pets, our garbage-stealing foes, our unnoficial mascot and our favourite little clowns: the raccoons of Toronto. Few creatures can inspire as much passion in this city as our fat, furry friends. They really are in a league of their own — but Toronto residents don't need the BBC to tell them that.
Here are some of the most-memorable Toronto raccoon moments from the 2010s.
This little James Bond of a nightboi got the whole city talking in 2015 after he was captured on camera emerging from the ceiling of a local coffee shop (that has never been revealed) and stealing an orange donut. Torontonian Peter Jensen filmed the entire caper, which lasted about 20 minutes in total.
Poor little "Conrad" the raccoon was killed, presumably by a car, and left for naught on a sidewalk near the corner of Yonge and Davenport during the summer of 2015. A shrine sprung up around him and, a few tweets later, this piece of roadkill exploded into one of Toronto's biggest news stories of the year. We really are a rather... unique city.
One of Toronto's mischievous forest friends foiled human engineers yet again in April of 2018 by demonstrating that the city's new (at the time) $31 million raccoon-proof green bins were not, in fact, "raccoon-proof" at all. Video footage of the clever critter showed him unlocking a high-tech bin in The Beaches with his tiny hands in less than 30 seconds.
Back alley dumpsters aren't the only places in which food can be procured, noted one Toronto raccoon who walked right into the Shoppers Drug Mart at Lakeshore and Leslie on December 18, 2017, to get himself some — what else? — snacks. The little guy is said to have hung out in the store all day, supervising the self-checkout machines.
A naturally-masked bandit tore through the window screen of a Toronto woman's kitchen back in September of 2018 and proceeded to eat every piece of bread in her house. Wedding planner Jenny Serwylo tried to shoo the greedy mammal and his friends away, but they didn't want to leave. Videos from the scene were hilarious, and served as a good reminder of just how "uber" our raccoons are.
Have you ever seen a raccoon chilling at 700 feet in the sky? Neither had Toronto crane operator Rob Mac when he discovered one high above the city and shared photos on Instagram, noting that the fuzzy little daredevil had left behind several presents on his machine deck. So Toronto. So raccoon.
An entire RBC branch near St. Clair and Oakwood was blocked off in September of 2017 due to what bank staff called "some unexpected repairs that arose from a family of raccoons making our ceiling their new home." We never got pictures of the night bois in question, but in this case, using one's imagination feels even more fun.
An adorable young raccoon, nicknamed Scoop, got stuck on a fourth floor ledge of the TorStar building at Front and Yonge Streets in 2016. Too scared to climb down, he went up as the entire city watched with baited breath. Fortunately, the heroes at Toronto Fire Services were able to rescue the frightened (and now famous) kit.
How much is that doggy in the window? The one with the... wait, that's no dog — that's a wild Toronto raccoon in the front window of Kops record store on Queen West. Why was he there? Nobody knows, but customers and store workers alike had a good laugh over its antics in June of 2019.
Toronto raccoons are intelligent creatures, capable of adapting to and thriving in even the most unnatural of habitats. Unfortunately, they're also bound to do some very stupid things in the name of getting food. Good thing the angels at Toronto Wildlife Rescue are always around to bail them out.
The raccoon who shut down Ryerson's pool, the raccoon who rode the TTC, the raccoon in the ceiling at Pearson Airport, the raccoon who stowed away on a Saskatoon flight bound for Toronto, the raccoon who drank out of a Queen West furniture store's toilet and the other raccoon who got his head stuck in a peanut butter jar. It's a thing.
by Lauren O'Neil via blogTO