Be Bear Wise As Spring Arrives

Apr 8, 2021

With milder weather here, bears are making their way out of their winter dens. The potential for human-bear interactions increases in the spring when there are less natural food sources available to them. This is when food sources, such as garbage and bird feed, can draw bears into populated areas.

Here are some tips to help reduce the chance of attracting bears on your property:

  • Put away winter bird feeders, seed and suet before spring arrives.
  • Clean outdoor barbeque grills after each use, including the grease trap.
  • Do not leave pet food outdoors, in screened-in areas or porches.
  • Keep dogs leashed when walking through communities or in bear country to reduce the potential for an unwanted interaction with a bear.
  • Ensure garbage is stored in waste containers with tight-fitting lids.
  • Wash your garbage, recycling and organic containers and lids often with a strong smelling disinfectant to reduce odours.
  • Put out garbage, recycling and green carts only on the morning of your waste pickup day, not the night before.
  • Download and set reminders on the Waste Wise app to remind you when to put out your waste. Blue Box recyclables and Green cart organics are collected on a weekly basis.

The City continues to offer a Report-A-Bear website, a peer-to-peer online mapping tool available to residents to share information about bear sightings within the community. Residents are invited to log on to to provide details of bear sightings including date, time, location, number and other details. Bear sightings may also be noted by emailing or by calling 705-674-4455, extension 2327 (BEAR) and leaving a detailed message.

Not every bear sighting is an emergency situation but if a bear is posing an immediate threat to personal or public safety, call 911.

For more tips on preventing bear encounters visit

2020 Report-A-Bear Statistics:

  • In 2020, there were 552 reports of bear sightings on the website. This was an increase from 244 sightings reported in 2019.
  • May and June saw the most reports for the year, accounting for 50 per cent of reports in 2020.
  • 25 per cent of reports received in 2020 were received over the weekend on Saturday and Sunday.
  • There were more than 21,200 web page views on the Report-a-Bear map in 2020. This is the highest number of web views since the platform launched in 2016