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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Harvesting greens in Toronto parks is illegal, heavy fine of $25,000

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Residents of Toronto’s parks are calling for better signage and stricter law enforcement in parks throughout the Toronto and Ontario areas to prevent people from illegally foraging for fiddleheads and other greens.

Residents have noticed people illegally harvesting plants for the past three years, with recent weeks being particularly severe. One resident recorded videos and images showing people picking plants with plastic bags containing fiddleheads and other greens.

It is unclear why people are taking plants from parks, but fiddleheads are edible and can be costly. A store is currently selling fiddleheads for $20 a pound.
Foraging plants in Ontario parks is illegal and prohibited, and Toronto has a bylaw that prohibits the removal of vegetation from city parks. Parks Canada also prohibits the collection of natural objects from parks. Harvesting greenery in Toronto parks is illegal, with a heavy fine of $25,000

Residents of Toronto’s parks are calling for better signage and stricter law enforcement in parks throughout the Toronto and Ontario areas to prevent people from illegally foraging for fiddleheads and other greens.

Residents have noticed people illegally harvesting plants for the past three years, with recent weeks being particularly severe. One resident recorded videos and images showing people picking plants with plastic bags containing fiddleheads and other greens.

It is unclear why people are taking plants from parks, but fiddleheads are edible and can be costly. A store is currently selling fiddleheads for $20 a pound.
Foraging plants in Ontario parks is illegal and prohibited, and Toronto has a bylaw that prohibits the removal of vegetation from city parks. Parks Canada also prohibits the collection of natural objects from parks. This includes plants, mushrooms, berries, animals, antlers, fossils, driftwood, and rocks.

Parks Canada says they are also aware of illegal harvesting in nearby Rouge National Urban Park, which can compromise the ecological integrity of protected areas.
“For fiddleheads – if they’re harvested, that means one fiddlehead frond won’t be growing in that spot this year. This can negatively affect insects and wildlife that rely on fiddleheads for habitat or food,” the agency said.

Parks Canada said that monitoring and compliance officers regularly patrol popular harvesting areas in the park and that signs can be found at the head of each trail. Fines can reach up to $25,000.

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