Where to fish

Most of Ontario’s major urban centres sit along lakes and rivers with great fishing, like:

  • Lake Ontario waterfront in Kingston and Toronto
  • Rideau River and Dow’s Lake in Ottawa
  • Thames River in London
  • Lake Nipissing in North Bay
  • St. Mary’s River in Sault Ste. Marie
  • Lake Superior in Thunder Bay

Fish you can catch in the city

You can catch many popular sportfish in city waters, such as:

  • trout, walleye and bass
  • panfish like black crappie and yellow perch

Who should try it

Urban fishing can be enjoyed from shore or from a boat. It is ideal for:

  • novice anglers
  • families with young children
  • people who don’t own a car
  • city-dwellers who enjoy the sport

Borrow fishing gear

No gear? No problem. The TackleShare program lends basic fishing gear to children or novice anglers who don’t have their own equipment. It’s free!

You can gear up at locations in many urban fishing centres, including:

TackleShare is an initiative of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, supported by Ontario Power Generation.

Find a TackleShare location near you.

City fishing fundamentals

  • get licenced: if you’re between the ages of 18 and 64, chances are you’ll need a licence to fish
  • know the rules and regulations: for many fish there are open and closed seasons and limits on the size and number of fish you can keep
  • don’t trespass: city fishing sites  often border private property (boundaries not always marked.)
  • catch and release: keep a few fish for the table and release the rest to help ensure a good fishery for future generations
  • be courteous: respect others and do not crowd them
  • stay safe: always exercise caution when fishing near flowing water, wear life jackets, and let others know where you’ll be and when you plan to return
  • know which fish you can eat and which you can’t

Buy a licence online

City fishing in Toronto and the GTA

The City of Toronto offers fine fishing for brown and rainbow trout, and chinook, coho and Atlantic salmon. You can find them:

  • along the Lake Ontario waterfront
  • at the Toronto Islands, a ferry ride from downtown Toronto
  • from your own boat or a fishing charter

Fishing with young children? Improve your chances of "catching" instead of just "fishing.” You’ll find these plentiful, fun-to-catch species in many public ponds, rivers, marshes and lakes:

  • carp and catfish
  • sunfish, perch, black crappie
  • bass

Where to fish

More than 50 public waterways in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) offer public fishing access. Use the Urban Fishing Opportunities in Toronto and Surrounding Areas for:

  • map and directions
  • types of fish (by location)
  • ice fishing
  • boat launches and boat rentals
  • amenities like washrooms, payphones, parking, public transit
  • wheelchair accessible locations

Urban fishing opportunities

Additional GTA locations

Halton Region

  • Burns Conservation Area: Twiss Rd. and #10 Sideroad
  • Bronte Harbour Park: Lakeshore Rd. W. at Bronte Rd.
  • Tannery Park: Chisholm St., south of Lakeshore Rd. E.
  • Heart Lake Conservation Area, Brampton
  • Parr Lake North Brampton
  • Parr Lake South Brampton
  • Professors Lake Brampton
  • Esker Lakes Brampton
  • Lake Aquitaine Mississauga

York Region

  • Too Good Pond Markham
  • Fairy Lake Newmarket
  • Lake Simcoe - Sibbald Point Provincial Park

Durham Region

  • Wilmot Creek: creek crossing at Highway 2
  • Wilmot Creek: downstream of Highway 401 railway crossing
  • Kendal Crown Property: Regional Road 9, east of Highway 35/115
  • Joe Fowler Memorial Park: Port Perry off Water St.
  • Trent Canal: Gambridge Lock 41 under Highway 12 bridge
  • Nonquon River: between 8th and 12th Concession
  • Bowmanville Harbour Conservation Area: Liberty St., south of Highway 401
  • Bowmanville Valley Conservation Area: Roenick St., south of Highway 2
  • Heber Down Conservation Area: Regional Rd. 23 and Highway 12 N. of Taunton Rd.
  • Lynde Shores Conservation Area: Brock St. south of Highway 401
  • Oshawa Valleylands Conservation Area: Simcoe St., south of Highway 401, west to Whiting Ave.
  • Lake Simcoe, Beaverton Public Pier – Beaverton Harbor
  • Lake Scugog, Public Launch Port Perry
  • Talbot River, Gamebridge Crown Land Property (adjacent to lock 41)

What you can catch:

  • cold-water—rainbow trout, chinook, coho, Atlantic salmon
  • warm-water—carp, catfish, sunfish, perch, black crappie, bass

City fishing in Ottawa

Canada’s Capital Region offers great city fishing. Fish from shore, or launch a boat, kayak or canoe with ease.

Map showing fish locations along the Ottawa River

Ottawa River

Where to fish:

  • West Carleton—Morris Island Conservation Area, Fitzroy Harbour, Fitzroy Provincial Park, MacLaren’s Landing, Buckham’s Bay
  • Port of Call marina
  • Nepean North—Shirley’s Bay, Crystal Beach, Dick Bell Park, Champlain Bridge
  • Ottawa East—Rockcliffe Yacht Club, Blair Road
  • Orléans East—Petrie Island

What you can catch:

  • warm-water—black crappie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, pumpkinseed, carp, channel catfish, brown bullhead, bluegill, longnose gar
  • cool-water—walleye, sauger, northern pike, muskellunge, rock bass, freshwater drum, yellow perch, mooneye
  • Champlain Bridge area—brown trout, stocked by the Province of Quebec

Map showing fish locations along the Rideau River

Rideau River

Where to fish:

  • Vanier Parkway—New Edinburgh Park, Riverain Park
  • Downtown—Dow’s Lake, Brewer Park, Billings Bridge Plaza area, Windsor Park, Brantwood Park, OC Transpo Bridge (between Lees and Hurdman Stations)
  • Hunt Club Bridge South to Manotick—Eccolands Park, Black Rapids locks, Chapman Mills Conservation Area, Riverside Park
  • Manotick Area—Walter Upton-Collins Park, Rideau Township marina
  • Kars and Osgoode Area—Long Island marina, Kars recreation area, Kars public wharf, W.A. Taylor Conservation Area
  • Dilworth Road, off Highway #416—Baxter Conservation Area, Reeve Craig boat launch
  • Kemptville and Kemptville Creek—Rideau River Provincial Park, Muldoon Launch, Pirate Cove Marina, Curry Park

What you can catch:

  • warm-water—largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, carp, brown bullhead, yellow bullhead
  • cool-water—walleye, black crappie, rock bass, yellow perch, northern pike, muskellunge

City fishing events

Anglers celebrate Family Fishing Weekend in February and Family Fishing Week in July with events across the province. These special licence-free periods are a great time to give urban fishing a try, enjoy an urban fishing festival or enter a fishing derby.

Licence-free fishing periods

Ontario Family Fishing Events