Urban Bestiary is about city life with wildlife.

It’s where we get to know the wild creatures in our neighbourhoods, as well as arts and issues related to urban wildlife in the big city.

Why Urban Bestiary?

  • Because our animal neighbours are amazing. And how they live in the city, and how we live with them, is fascinating.
  • Because most urban people are detrimentally disconnected from local wildlife and nature in general.
  • Because it’s easier for people to respect living beings who we know at least a little about.
  • Because it’s meaningful and at the same time also fun and heartwarming.

Urban Bestiary invites you to get to know the wild and wonderful animals we rarely notice in the big city.

I’m Heather. I’m a writer, marketing professional for nonprofit organizations and culture destinations, and aquarist. And I’m getting to know the amazing creatures all around us. I live in Toronto, the largest city in Canada and the 4th largest in North America. Until the last year or two I had never seen a live opossum with tiny babies, or sleek black mink, or timid coyote pup. I had no idea what a vole is. And I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t know who the birds are in my own yard. (Ok, except for the cardinal.)

I’m sure there are many people like me who grew up in the city and, aside from encounters with raccoons and squirrels, never really noticed our local beasties. You can learn what I learn, as I volunteer at a wildlife hospital, alongside stories of my pals in the arts and their encounters with neighbourhood wildlife, developments in municipality wildlife issues, and other content. As I discover and learn more about our wild neighbours and the urban issues related to city wildlife, I am happy to share and discuss with you here at the Urban Bestiary.

urban [ur-buhn] adjective: 1) of, relating to, or designating a city or town. 2) living in a city. 3) characteristic of or accustomed to cities; citified.

bestiary [bes.ti.ə.ri] noun, slightly altered definition: a book or blog containing descriptions of real and imaginary animals, intended to teach and to entertain. The first bestiaries were written in the Middle Ages.