Best Family Fishing Spots

Ontario provides a plethora of spots to take the kids fishing within city limits.

Ontario is blessed with over 250,000 lakes and countless kilometres of rivers and streams, providing a plethora of spots to take the kids fishing within city limits. Youngsters can reel in various species of fish at Ontario’s major urban centres by sitting along lakes and rivers.

While kids under 18 can take part in the city's fishing without a permit, adults need a fishing license before they can drop a line, other than during the Ontario Family Fishing Events. Also, some 'catch-and-release' rules apply so you'll have to hit up the city's best family restaurants for that fish-fry dinner you've been hankering for.

Fishing is a favourite family outdoor activity, but before you go, make sure you know the rules.

Where to Go Fishing with Kids...


• Lake Ontario waterfront
• Toronto Islands, a ferry ride from downtown Toronto

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.

York Region

• Musselman’s Lake: Hwy. 48 and Aurora Rd.

Durham Region

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

Download the Urban Fishing Guide for more locations!


The Ontario Family Fishing Event is a province-wide opportunity for Canadian residents to fish Ontario waters without the otherwise mandatory fishing version outdoors card. This summer, July 2 to 10, 2016 (12:01 a.m. Saturday to 11:59 p.m. Sunday) are the Ontario Government designated license-free days. During all other time periods, Canadian residents between the ages of 18 and 64 years must purchase a valid fishing license to legally fish in Ontario. It's the perfect opportunity introduce kids to fishing! CLICK HERE to get a list of Fishing Events coming this July.


If you don't have any fishing gear and you want to make sure the kids enjoy the sport before investing in any equipment, look into the TackleShare program. It lends basic fishing gear to children or novice anglers who don’t have their own equipment. And it’s free! You can pick up gear at locations in many urban fishing centres, including: libraries, Big Brothers and Sisters, Conservation Authorities and Ontario provincial parks. CLICK HERE for more info on the TackleShare program.


Here are some basic fishing fundamentals published by the province of Ontario when it comes to city fishing:

1. Get a License: if you’re between the ages of 18 and 64, you’ll need a licence to fish other than at Ontario Family Fishing Events where one is not required.
2. Get to know the Rules and Regulations. Many fish have open and closed seasons and limits on the size and number of fish you can keep.
3. No trespassing. City fishing sites often border private property (boundaries are not always marked.)
4. Catch and Release. Observe the practise of keeping a few fish and releasing the rest to help ensure a good fishery for future generations.
5. Respect other fishers. Be courteous and do not crowd them.
6. Stay safe: always exercise caution when fishing near flowing water, wear life jackets, and know which fish you can eat and which you can’t.

Where else do you go fishing in the GTA? Share below!

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