THE POSSUM

... they came to Ontario as tourists
and decided to stay!

Ontario Possum in a tree, the Virginia Opossum in Ontario

The Possum, or Virginia Opossum, is not native to this part of Southern Ontario, but began to arrive here several decades ago, from the USA, and appears to be breeding successfully in this area.

We hope you find our website interesting and hope it tells you everything you might want to know about this, the only North American marsupial.

The Opossum of North America is a different species than its Australian cousin, although, both are marsupials which means that they give birth to babies at a very early stage of development.

At birth, these little critters are about the size of a Kidney Bean!

The young then crawl to the mother's pouch and latch onto a nipple, where they stay and feed for about 2 months, until they emerge from the pouch to face the outside world.

Here in Southern Ontario these little creatures are mostly seen at night, as they check out the garbage cans for dinner, or at the side of the road, dead.

The Virginia Opossum is now found in Canada, Possum on the grass

They have adapted to living with people in the countryside and in small towns, but have not adapted to the presence of fast moving cars.

Sadly, hundreds of them are killed each year on our roads and highways.

In the past few decades, it seems that some poor unsuspecting Opossums have taken a nap on a stationary train or truck somewhere in the Southern States, and woken up to find themselves in Canada, with no way for them to get back.

These reluctant little immigrants settle in, breed and manage quite well in their first summer here, but when the cold winter arrives things get tough for these little marsupials.

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Several of our readers have sent reports to us, about their Opossum sightings, which you can read by following the links below.

Lisa tells us about the Large rat-like animal she spotted, and a reader from Orangeville reported seeing a Small white animal by the side of the road.

We saw a Possum! was sent to us by Explorer from Brampton, and Paul tells us there are Possums in Barrie

Margaret in Brampton says she saw Another Possum in Brampton and Fernando from Cambridge says he told the one he saw to Get out of my garage! and Lori from Bowmanville had a Backyard visitor late one night!

Three other reports came to use recently, of sightings, which you can read - a reader from Odessa, just west of Kingston, Ontario, said she had a Possum sighting two readers, Colin & Claudia sent this information More sightings

These little marsupials are not well adapted for our cold northern winters and here in Southern Ontario I have seen some animals with bits of their ears and tails missing, due to frost-bite, however, they are still here and seem to be growing in numbers.

You can see more reports of animal sightings on
our Facebook page
Discover Southern Ontario on Facebook!

Possum in a tree in Canada, Opossum

POSSUM FACTS

According to the Opossum Society, litter size can be up to 13 babies, and the mothers feed their babies in their pouch for 2 - 3 months.

They are then carried around on the mother's back for another 1 - 2 months.

Adults are about the size of an average house cat and are solitary, nocturnal and gray in colour.

If alarmed and unable to escape, the possum may fall into a state of shock and unconsciousness, and may appear to be dead,
hence the term "Playing Possum"

Although they prefer to avoid confrontation, these gentle, placid little creatures will hiss, growl and show their teeth when cornered!

They are true omnivores and will eat insects, snails, rodents, berries, fruit, grass and leaves, eggs and vegetables, and best of all, they eat ticks!

They suffer predation by dogs, cats, Hawks, and Owls, and of course, humans (and cars).

Occasionally, Opossums become a nuisance and need to be removed, so you can find a local pest control company in your area who may be able to remove the possum and relocate him elsewhere, using a humane live animal trap.

Possum with pink nose standing on straw, Virginia Opossum

Possum Info ...

The National Opossum Society has lots of information and photos about this little creature, its lifestyle and habits.


If you would like to read Possum reports from previous years, you can read them below.

Possum Sightings from 2013

Possum Sightings from 2014

Possum Sightings from 2015


Let us know if you spot a Possum!

They're here and they sure are getting around!

Let us know if there are Possums in YOUR part of Ontario!

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Possum sightings  Not rated yet
Checking a noise outside, I found a possum in the recycling box licking the empty ice cream container. It was not scared away by noises I made. …

Opossum sighting Not rated yet
On Monday, March 8, 2021 at 4:20 pm I spotted an Opossum sauntering beside a wood lot in Guelph, Ontario. It appeared to be healthy and didn’t seem …

Newmarket Opossum Not rated yet
An Opossum visited our back yard on two consecutive days March 2 and 3, 2021. We saw it digging in the snow. It was likely eating under bird feeder …

Cambridge Opossum Not rated yet
I saw a possum on our patio in Cambridge Ontario last night, alerted by our cat who was all puffed tail, meowing loudly. It might have been after food …

Possum sighting in Halton Hills Not rated yet
I first spotted this Possum snacking under the birdfeeders on February 28, 2021 at dinner time. It was seen again this evening, Tuesday March 2, at …

February Possum in Kitchener Not rated yet
One came to my porch. Thank you for sending us this charming picture of a Possum, just look at that sweet little face!

We have a Possum under our deck Not rated yet
We live in Tillsonburg, Ontario, near a ravine and last night our dogs were doing a lot of barking and my husband called them but they wouldn’t come …

Possums near Kingston Not rated yet
Odessa, Ontario. My dad live caught these two cuties while on the hunt for a MIA barn cat. They were cold and wet. Stayed in to warm up a bit before …

Glenburnie Possum Not rated yet
There's a possum hiding in the corner of our shed that shares a wall with our garage. Thank you for sending this picture of the little visitor to your …

Plentiful Possums Not rated yet
Ron from Ballinafad wrote to say ... the back motion sensor light came on and I expected to see racoons or maybe a skunk. This funny looking guy sniffed …

Recycling box Opossum Not rated yet
This cute little guy scared the crap out of me on garbage day! I'm not sure if there were more in there, but I'll keep checking. Looks like the …

Harmless Pickering Possum Not rated yet
Around 11:00 am today (July 25, 2020), I was shocked to see one, I think it is a Possum, right inside recycle bin at my door outside here in Pickering!!! …

Love my night time visitors in London Not rated yet
I have had both adult and young possums in my yard. I think they are really cute and have not made pests of themselves. Tonight a young one came …

Ajax Opossum Not rated yet
We have had one living in our backyard for years with no problems ... residential South Ajax, Ontario. He likes the food scraps in the garden, but …

Possum In Pool Filter Basket Not rated yet
Richmond Hill, June 23 2020 - I checked my pool filter basket this morning and saw what I thought was a dead creature (rat) bobbing around. …

Possum resting in backyard Not rated yet
This possum has been using our backyard for some time as a pathway and it drops by once in a while. Last night (June 22, 2020) I found him/her in our …

A Selection of Possums Not rated yet
Kenneth C T from Brantford wrote ... our home is located less than one km off the Grand River. We have the largest possum I have ever seen frequenting …

Verona Opossum Not rated yet
Friday, June 5th my husband checked our live trap for a raccoon and was amazed to find a Virginia Opossum waiting patiently to be set free. …

Possum in Belle River Not rated yet
Here is a Possum, think she may be pregnant. Thanks for sending us your pictures! Possum mothers give birth when their babies are about the size …

Morning Possum in Owen Sound  Not rated yet
I saw this guy this morning around 7:00 am. Didn’t know what it was until later.

Possum in our Backyard Not rated yet
I happened to look out our backyard last evening, May 19, 2020, and saw this gray furry thing with a white face moving around lawn and flowerbeds. Saw …

A Possum's Morning Stroll Not rated yet
I saw this when looking out my back door on December 9th last year. Thanks for sending us your picture!

Possum Sighting in Pickering Not rated yet
March 25, 2020. This was Opossum seen walking along the fence at the foot of our garden in Pickering. Thanks for sending your great picture, that's …

I have two Possums in my Markham backyard! Not rated yet
I have two Possums hanging around this week in the backyard. First time. Our usual inhabitants are Skunks and Raccoons .

Click here to write your own.

Downtown Toronto Possum Not rated yet
I have seen lots of wildlife downtown, Sherbourne and Wellesley, Rosedale Ravine and the Don Trail, but this is the first Possum.

Photo confirming presence in west Kitchener Not rated yet
I was outside on my front porch this evening near Highland and Fischer-Hellman in Kitchener, when I spotted and photographed what I believe to be a possum. …

Possums sighted in the area Not rated yet
Jeff from Mississauga wrote ... I met a momma Possum last night around 3 am while walking along Windwood Drive in this suburban City of Mississauga neighbourhood. …

Tillsonburg Ontario Possum  Not rated yet
Urban possum, been coming to the door for many years since it was a baby. It only comes during the winter months. We’ve never seen it in the summer …

Albino Rat in Lakefield Not rated yet
My wife Lori spotted the Albino Rat sitting on neighbour's fence in back yard. In the middle of winter and middle of the day. Beautiful downtown …

Click here to write your own.

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