Wolf spotted in Brampton ravine

by Barry Roy
(Brampton, Ontario, Canada)

Folks, I know the difference between a Coyote and a Wolf.


On Tuesday January 24, 2012, approximately 1815hrs, I was walking my 65lbs Standard Poodle along the trail connected to Westchester Park. This park is between Kennedy and Hurontario on Steeles, in Brampton.

There is a prepared, well-lit trail emanating from this park that leads to the Brampton Golf Club. While foraging along this trail (between the first and second lamp-posts, my large poodle was confronted by what I recognized as a Wolf.

Thankfully, since I was very close, I was able to charge the animal and chase it away. The animal did not get a chance to bite my dog. However, it was quite obvious that this Wolf was interested in preying upon my pet.

Naturally, I called both Peel Police and Animal Control authorities. My report reference number was designated to be "A12110068". I was told the situation would be investigated.

If this animal was NOT a Wolf, it has to be one of the largest Coyotes alive. It dwarfed my 65lb Standard Poodle and resembled a very large German Shepherd, with an extremely thick coat and long tail.

Regardless of the actual species of this animal, it is VERY large and potentially dangerous to both humans and/or their domestic pets.

I understand why a Wolf would be on this trail: rabbits and Deer are common to it. For its' size and overall appearance, I am confident that this creature was a wolf. I was close to it, between two powerful hydro lamp-posts.

Don't let anyone tell you that it is impossible for Wolves to live in Brampton! They are here, and like Coyotes, use creek-fed ravines, parklands, and/or golf courses on which to hunt, breed, and ultimately survive!

Wow, thank you for this amazing (and well written) report of your sighting! I hope you don't mind that I took this from our "Comments" section where people may not see it, to here where it has a full page to itself.

Thanks for telling us about this - we get around 950 - 1,000 people each day visiting our website, many of whom read our blog, so I hope the word gets out that there is a large carnivore in Brampton.

Comments for Wolf spotted in Brampton ravine

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Feb 07, 2019
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Two Coywolf spotted
by: Anonymous

I just spotted 2 coywolves together crossing North Park Drive at around 7:00 am - big animals / whitish brown colour - they emerged from the park entrance near Bramalea and North Park Drive, ran down the fenceline near the sidewalk and then crossed North Park heading into the park at North Park and Jefferson Drive. Wow...they were definitely not coyotes!

Aug 02, 2018
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Wolf followed us
by: Anonymous

Was walking down the ravine in Brampton with my olde english bulldog. This ravine is between the back yards of houses. While walking I heard barking getting closer to us and came onto the main road at Countryside Road and saw a wol. I know for sure it wasn't a coyote or a fox. The wolf stopped and went back into the ravine and then came around from the entry of the ravine and started barking at us again. The walking difference must have been at least 10 minutes, the wolf was actually standing on the main road staring us down. I was near a catwalk and cut into a street with houses.

Apr 18, 2018
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Wolf evidence
by: Anonymous

Saw evidence of a wolf near Steeles and Albion Road. Sometime during the ice-storm Sunday April 15 into Monday April 16. Large 5" tracks, evidence of dragging tail. Tracks were determined in nature as for stealth appeared to have been stalking geese from behind a snowbank on a business on Steinway Blvd. May have come out of Clairville Conservation Area in Brampton.

Jan 10, 2018
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YES we saw a Wolf NOT a dog!!!
by: Anonymous

January 6, 2018 (Saturday) just before 10 am on Derry Rd. a little west of Mavis Rd., a gorgeously healthy full grown wolf ran across the road about 10 feet in front of our car. It had already crossed 3 lanes and was running full out heading for the woodsy area on the north side. What an exciting sighting of a beautiful animal!!!

Feb 27, 2017
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Gray wolf
by: Anonymous

Just seen a Grey Wolf at Bovard and Mississauga Rd, heading north, he was rather big, thought at first it was a dog. I stopped my truck in the middle of the road and called out to it, it came towards me about 5 steps then turned back around and headed north. I have seen them before up near Sudbury and North Bay, but never in the city, kinda cool but I hope he keeps walking north!

Dec 21, 2016
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Wolf Sightings
by: Anonymous

Just to let you all know that I have seen what appeared to be 2 Wolves down by the baseball diamond just in back of the Y, downtown Brampton. This occurred late at night around 1 am. Encountered this sighting shortly after a bout of howling performed by the wolves. This was this past November 2016. Recently I encountered much the same near the Catholic School on Mary Street, the school somewhat borders the Etobicoke Trail. Once again there were 2 of them. In both situations they spotted me and remained still for the longest time and then went on their merry way, much to my delight. What's the solution - stop pushing them out of their territory with these massive suburb developments. Easier said than done.

Oct 01, 2016
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Wolves every night
by: Anonymous

We didn't see any wolf yet but hear wolves every single night. We have lived here 3 years, next to the ravine in Bonnie Braes and James Potter.

Dec 21, 2015
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Coyotes or Wolf - in my backyard!
by: Anonymous

We back onto White Spruce Park and this evening (December 20th) just before 11:45 pm we had a very large Coyote (or a Wolf) in our backyard. When we banged on our window he easily cleared our 6 foot fence! Be aware and don't let your dogs out unattended. We don't have a dog and are not sure why it was in our backyard, but it was there - beautiful but scary.

Dec 02, 2015
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Saw the Wolf
by: Anonymous

I saw the same Wolf last Saturday around 11 pm running towards the ravine located at Mavis and Chingousey.

Mar 08, 2015
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Wolves Mavis Steeles
by: Anonymous

My name is Paul I live at Mavis and Steeles, we hear the Wolves howl all the time and the Coyotes as well. Be carefull out there cuz they are hungry... And watch the movie GREY. Then yu will understand.

Jan 23, 2015
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Coywolf
by: Anonymous

This would not be a Wolf. Wolf/coyote hybrids are quite common in southern Ontario, but there are no pure-bred wolves in Brampton. These Coywolves are larger than a Coyote and look much more Wolf like. The tails are longer and bushier and the ears are more rounded than a Coyote. In the wild I've seen Wolves, Coyotes and Coywolves and I can understand why you thought you saw a Wolf.

Nov 28, 2013
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Be careful!
by: Barry Roy

Glad it worked-out for your Newfoundlander! I have had many more sightings around that same area. I have seen one pair in particular, and know that they work extremely well together. I wouldn't be surprised if they try to lure a dog into a chase. Perhaps they may even be employing a "pack" strategy with other "coy-wolves" in the area. Otherwise, I hope all your encounters prove safe! Good-luck!

Nov 26, 2013
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A like sighting
by: Anonymous

Saw exactly what you were describing tonight as I took my 90 pound Newfoundland out for a walk near the Brampton golf course. But as soon as I saw it my dog took off after it sending the wolf/massive coyote running. Haha

Jan 02, 2013
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I'm not nuts after all
by: Lou Adamo

On Friday December 14, 2012, coming home at about 10:45pm along Sandalwood just east of Bramalea Road there is a bridge just before Chaparal and a walk way and creek that run North / South , when my wife and I saw what I was sure to be a wolf gallop across Sandalwood from the south side to the North side going down the walk way .
It was huge, no way was that a dog!

Nov 18, 2012
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Wolf Sighting in Brampton
by: Anonymous

On Sunday November 18, 2012 at 8:30 pm, I was walking my small poodle and saw what I am sure is a Wolf rather than a Coyote, that I have heard lurks in the ravine near my house.

This sighting occurred in the ravine behind my home, which is near McLaughlin Road and Bovaird Drive, Brampton, Ontario.

I say it was a Wolf because it at first appeared to be a very large husky dog but was a shaggy all over silver/light grey colour with a whitish face and white eyes. It held its large head up high and had a bushy tail.

I stomped my heavy shoes to scare it off - it ran back across the foot bridge then turned to look back at us, upon which I charged toward it to scare it off more. I then ran back into the bush.

It appeared to be of a size weighing around 50lbs, standing around 30 to 36" tall at its head. The animal is fairly bushy with long legs.

I have now reported this animal to the Animal Services in the hope that this animal could be found and relocated before it hurts any of our pets. Neighbourhood residents have noticed the disappearance of many feral cats over the past year, wondering if this has been due to this wolf / coyote that is wandering around the ravine.

Nov 06, 2012
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Wolf sighting in Brampton
by: Anonymous

My daughter and I saw a wolf tonight around midnight and Friday past around 2:00 am.
We were at Williams Parkway and Chrysler Drive, it looked like it came from behind the dog pound. Friday's sighting was a larger one and tonight was a young one, possibly a litter somewhere between there. We were certain it was a wolf but the reality made me come online to search for any other stories and to confirm pictures of wolves and coyotes and foxes.

Apr 21, 2012
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Brampton, Ontario
by: Anonymous

This week April 2012, on Steeles Ave / Winston Churchill Blvd, not far from your sighting, there was road kill.

It was too big to be a Coyote and it looked like a Wolf too me. It was almost the size of a small deer, but with Wolf hair.

It was huge - I can't imagine hitting that with a car.

Jan 26, 2012
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Lets all go shoot something just because
by: Anonymous

So, shot A coyote .... no way of knowing it was THE coyote.... just lets go shoot something so we will feel better..... smh (shake my head) at the sense of entitlement so called "landowners" feel...smh at you.

(Edited slightly)

Jan 26, 2012
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I take your point
by: Mary Lynn Horton

Barry, thanks for both your knowledgeable articles on the Brampton Wolf. Some of the ¨coyotes¨ I have run into - sometimes just 15 feet apart - are quite large. One stood as tall as my Bull Mastiff, but not as heavy boned.

I have read that Wolves are now breeding with Coyotes - giving us a hybrid that is highly intelligent, opportunistic and really not frightened by humans.

The coyotes I come across never show fear, they just turn and walk slowly away. They have never, ever bothered my dogs.

Although I have always been pro-wolf and pro-coyotes it is becoming painfully obvious to me -through observations like yours, that things are getting a bit out of control.

Re-locating them does not seem to be an option.

When the great hue and cry went up about coyotes in Grimsby, a town near me, the law seems to be relocating them not more than 1km from the catch sight. So, the only alternative was killing them. Since then, I have seen far fewer coyotes.

I don´t know what the answer is - other than culling - but I also wonder why there are so many sightings in the past few years here in Southern Ontario. We seem to have billions of deer now, so maybe that is one reason. Or, maybe our pets just make easy pickings.

Mary Lynn

Jan 26, 2012
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Agreeing To Disagree On Real Versus Perceived Dangers With Wolves and Coyotes.
by: Barry Roy

Hey Nova59,
I appreciate your comments and respect your sense of need to defend the interests of wolves.
However, this very week has seen several high-profile cases of coyotes dangerously interacting with humans. In one case, a little girl was attacked and bitten in her own fenced backyard - while playing with a little friend. In other cases, domestic animals were attacked and suffered various injuries. Overall, there is more than simple possibility of injury from attack.

Wild animals act on instinct and perceptions that stimulate survival skills. If such an animal like the one I encountered is hungry or protective of an unseen litter of young, then who knows what it might be capable of doing to either domestic pets or even humans? You are correct in insisting that people be aware of their surroundings. However, having such a large wolf-like creature in my neighbourhood requires decisive, and hopefully bloodless action to protect ALL parties - including wolves/coyotes.

Humanely performed and professionally controlled relocation procedures appear to be the best answer. When little girls are targetted in their own backyards and other people loose their pets (often on leashes) to bigger coyotes/wolves, then we must take the chance of erring on the side of caution.

I am sad to hear of any animal destroyed through negative interaction with Man. Notwithstanding, my top priority remains the preservation and safety of human life.

I am a 6'2" 225lb former Canadian paratrooper. The posturing of this wolf in relation to my dog actually scared me. Even when I charged it, I assumed it might attack me. Thankfully, as you highlighted, it did not.

Nevertheless, my actions - including the written report to authorities and this site - was to inform citizens in Brampton that either a wolf - or an extremely large coyote, is active in this densely populated area. Naturally, I do believe there is probable danger of negative interaction with this creature. I feel sorry for this animal, and hope that the authorities I alerted can find it, and relocate it to a more appropriate environment. But until that time, I sincerely believe we need to be on alert and aware of potential danger - if not tragedy.

Take care and thank-you for your interest in my report!

Jan 25, 2012
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Wolf sighting
by: Nova59

I fully believe you did see a Wolf....lucky you, your dog was on a leash and you were aware enough to know what to do to deter the animal.
However, as for the "Wolf" being a danger....I don't know about that statement, all I can say is when hiking anywhere, people need to be cognizant of their surroundings and it is especially important to not let your dogs run free no matter how much you know they will enjoy it.

I am glad you knew what to do and your doggie was ok too.... but please don't look on the wolf as a villain, especially as he never even attacked.

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