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Unlucky Ducks

What does a baby panda born in a Chinese zoo have to do with Torontonians? Absolutely nothing aside from a case of the awww’s, and one of the things they tell you in J-school is that animal stories are money. This time, instead of looking across the Pacific pond for feel-good fuzzies, Torontoist only had to go as far as the man-made pond adjacent to St. Andrew station.
2008_07_25_ducks1.jpg In the shadow of all that Bay Street concrete, right by Roy Thompson Hall, a family of three mallards set up roost and were a constant pleasure for bleary-eyed commuters rolling in and out of the TTC system. As Torontoist reader Jay pointed out, the two fuzzy ducklings would spend mornings swimming after Mom to the amusement of workers who would gather around to watch. In the evenings, the whole family would take in the fading sun on a plank set in place by a helpful caretaker to lead them to their nest.
Two days ago Jay and other duck-watching workers were greeted with a disappointing notice posted near the pond stating the feathered trio had been removed by rescue staff from the Toronto Wildlife Centre and relocated successfully to Lake Ontario. The TWC’s stated aim is to help wildlife in need, whether a baby bird in need of rehabilitation after falling out of a nest or chipmunks stuck in a chimney. We’re all for animals (especially the cute ones) being out of harm’s way, but given the fact that the mother was raising her young there, it seems these ducks were doing fine in their King Street digs. Who says animals can’t be urbanites?
Photos by Jay V.


  • rek

    Here I was thinking ducks would know better when it comes to what ducks need. A million years of instinct and all that.

  • Raven

    Those ducks come back every year.
    They have nested there every summer for at least 4 years now — and have been removed every time.
    Although it is cute sight for pedestrians wandering through the PATH, I’m sure it poses at least a bit of ick factor for the workers who have to clean the pond at Roy Thomson Hall. Bird poop ain’t exactly watercourse friendly.
    At least they were humanely rescued and released.

  • David Topping

    Two photos of the duck family just got added to Torontoist’s Flickr Pool by padrin. They are extremely cute.

  • paigesix

    Don’t most birds mate for life? Where is daddy duck?
    Also.. the pics David linked two show at least 5 ducklings, but the poster says only 2 were moved? huh??

  • joelphillips

    There were 9 ducklings originally this year. 7 died pretty quickly after reaching the pond.

  • lasallejai

    My wife works in down town and she walks by that pond daily. She has even taken some pictures of them to show me a few days ago. Yes, there should be more ducklings than 2 starting out with 4, according to my wife, but I think two of them either died or got taken away by some one. When my wife told me it was down to 2 last week my heart sank, and when my wife told me yesterday that they were removed and released back into the wild I was happily sad. Happy because I know now they are where they are supposed to be; sad because I was going to go down there this weekend to take a look at them and perhaps a few pictures for my photo blog.

  • jayv

    It was a weird sight when they posted the announcement. There’s always a sort of Where’s Waldo as you enter into that corridor. The notice is posted at the west end of the hall and people were bunched up looking at it. On the way home yesterday night there was this suited man that had made the turn into the RTH corridor, staring back at the pond, it’s like a Sudoku he’ll never finish.

  • Anupa Mistry

    David those duck pictures just melt my ice-encrusted heart.