Grizzlies in Ontario?

by Jeff Helsdon | January 7, 2019

A recently published study is raising the possibility that grizzly bears are establishing a foothold in extreme northwestern Ontario.

In his published report Novel range overlap of three ursids in the Canadian subarctic, Douglas Clark of the University of Saskatchewan and his co-authors have proven polar bears, black bears, and grizzly bears are inhabiting the same area. This is the first peer reviewed scientific paper to come to this conclusion.

grizzly in ontario

By using remote cameras in Manitoba’s Wapusk National Park, which borders Hudson Bay, researchers recorded images of all three bear species between 2011 and 2017, although not all at the same time. The report states there is growing evidence that grizzly bears are undergoing a substantial range increase in northern Canada.

It’s roughly 200 kilometres as the crow flies from Wapusk National Park’s southern border to the Manitoba-Ontario border.

“The possibility of grizzlies in Ontario came from an old management plan I read for Polar Bear Provincial Park mentioning an unsubstantiated report of a grizzly shot on the north coast of the province in the 1980s,” Clark said.

“Second, after I saw a grizzly in Wapusk in 1998, locals told me about other sightings in the region, and one person mentioned a bear shot out of Shamattawa, not too far from the border. So to be very clear, I have no data or firsthand reports of grizzlies in Ontario, but given what we are seeing in northern Manitoba, I think it is a distinct possibility.”

Heads up – Hunting is being allowed again on certain parts of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority property. For more information, visit

Click here for the latest outdoor news.

Sign up for our mailing list

indicates required
Email format


  1. Christopher Fisher wrote: Thank you for this article.
  2. David Pollard wrote: There are Brown bears in Ontario. I have pictures for proof. In fact I took those on July 3, 2020. The bear was spotted by my Dad in the soya field beside my house. I was floored. I have never seen a brown bear in Ontario. I'm not going to reveal the location yet mostly because there will be more sightings to prove its existence. I hope the black bears stay clear of this young Brown bear. It easily weighs 300 lbs.
  3. Edwin (Ted) Walter Gorsline wrote: I have an old report about grizzly bears being found along the Moose River. The game warden Carl Monk told me a trapper who first name was Gordon seeing one west of Fort Severn a few years ago. I believe it was in Ontario near the Black Duck River very close to the Manitoba border.. I may have written about it in greater detail at but I just forget.
  4. Jamie-Lynn Jararuse wrote: I got followed by a grizzly bear in Northern Ontario in 2012
  5. Jamie-Lynn Jararuse wrote: Thank you for sharing. In Magnetawan, Ontario I was followed by a grizzly bear when I ran away from a treatment centre until I jumped into a truck
  6. Jamie-Lynn Jararuse wrote: I saw a grizzly bear in Magnetawan ontario dragging a deer into the woods