Early September to November when temperatures are between 3°C to 10°C, Pacific Salmon (Coho, Chinook) migrate upstream from Ontario’s Great Lakes to lay their eggs in the shallows before winter settles in.
Here are few places to go within GTA to see the once silver coloured fish, that is now almost black in colour, making the final trip of their lives.
When: Whether you will be able to see salmon during your walk, is dependent on the salmon and the weather including rainfall, and temperature.
Scarborough- Highland Creek
Walk from Morningside Park and follow Highland Creek. Follow the trail along Highland creek from Morningside park to Colonel Danforth Park to Lower Highland Creek Park.
Toronto Region Conservation Authority holds an yearly “Highland Creek Salmon Festival” at Morningside Park. Join for guided nature hikes to see the salmon running upstream as well as wildlife displays, live performances, environmental displays, local food, a farmer’s market and more!
North York – Don River
Head over to Charles Sauriol Conservation Area (1191 Lawrence Ave E) to spot some large Chinook salmon fighting their way upstream to spawn near the bridge crossing to the east side of the Don river.
Another great idea for an outing is to visit Evergreen Brickworks. On weekends, Evergreen Brickworks is the site of Farmers Market and artisan markets. The weekly community event features a series of special celebrations, such as the Sunday Performing Arts Series, and a rotating roster of local makers offering products from jams, jellies and spreads to locally-made clothing and unique hand-made jewellery, wood and leather goods. After enjoying a day at the markets, walk along the Bayview Multi Use lane towards Pottery Road Bridge where you might see salmon swimming up-stream.
Etobicoke – Etienne Brule Park
Spot salmon making the metre-and-a-half jump (Old Mill dam) to get upstream to spawn in up the Humber River. You can also see the Salmon making there way up the TRCA constructed fish ladder at Raymore Park Dam( 93 Raymore Dr, Etobicoke).
Mississauga – Erindale Park & Riverwood Conservancy Trails
See salmon making their way up Credit River as you hike the The Culham Trail. You can also follow trails along Credit River from Riverwood Conservancy to Streetsville. Riverwood Conservancy also holds many Salmon Run related hikes and talks. Hewick Meadows Park (Credit Point Dr) is another great location. Follow the trail north from the parking lot accessible from eastbound Eglinton Avenue east of Mississauga Road to the location of where two pedestrian bridges over the Credit River.
Pickering – Duffins Creek
See salmon making their way up on Duffins Creek.
A great venue is the Seaton Trail from Whitevale Park that meanders by the Whitevale Dam where you can see Salmon jumping up the dam. The trail can be accessed from the south end of Whitevale Park or the northeast side of the Whitevale Bridge.
Greenwood Conservation Area trail along Duffins Creek is another great location to view the Salmon.
Other Places: If you really want an in-depth experience and a wonderful “Salmon” themed Fall getaway, visit Owen Sound.