Late night raccoon 'hunt' in Toronto

Traveling is so much fun, especially when you get to do things you completely didn't see coming your way! One of such unexpected but thoroughly enjoyable experiences was the 'late night raccoon hunt' me and my couchsurfing host from Toronto went on.

Planning our little raccoon adventure

What I mean by the 'hunt' is that one night we decided to go seek for some raccoons in the back streets of downtown. When I was first told that those adorable creatures are native to the city and can be quite easily spotted at night I got so excited. I've never seen a raccoon in real life before and had absolutely no idea that there are so many of them in Toronto. I was so amazed by that relevation that I did some solid research on the matter and discovered that, apparently, Toronto is the world's capital of raccoons!

The plan was quite straightforward - we get drunk and after midnight we go to downtown for a lovely stroll. Equipped with some extra drinks and fully charged phones we embarked on our journey just minutes after 1am. My levels of excitement were ridiculously high at that point.

Rainbow pedestrian crossing at Toronto's Gay Village

High hopes and good times

We started off in the areas around The University of Toronto campus. My host was pretty sure we would bump into, at least, one raccoon somewhere there as the neighbourhood was known for getting a bit messy sometimes because of the large student population. And as we all know, raccoons love to go through bin bags and other garbage. Unfortunately, after an hour of exploring the area there were no raccoons in sight. But don't worry everyone, our hopes were still high and we were still more than ready for the encounter!

While walking around the campus, I've started paying attention to the names of university's different departments and have found some of them to be unusually hilarious (yes, being drunk definitely contributed to that). The ones that made me laugh the most were 'Best Institute' and 'Banting Institute'. The 1st one was funny because I've imagined that it's the institute for the best people only and no one else. The other one made me laugh histerically for few minutes as all that came to my mind were people sat in the tiny lecture room having some quality banter for the whole day. What a great university course would that be?!

Now that I look back at it, it's definitely not as funny as it seemed at the time, oops

The highly anticipated encounter

Anyways, still full of determination, we decided to relocate. When we were walking towards the Entertainment District, my host had to stop briefly at their workplace. And this is when the magic started to happen. I made a conscious decidion of waiting for them outside as I had a feeling this would be my raccoon moment and I was right! As soon as they left I noticed one of those beautiful animals running across the street and heading towards the back of the building. Without thinking I started recording the whole thing and sneakily followed the creature. When I reached the bin area I was surprised by not only one, but two raccoons enjoying their night. You can only imagine how excited I got. Also, as a little side note - we were trying our best not to scare them. Here are some videos I took while following the raccons (excuse the iPhone night camera quality).


As you can tell by my not so great filming skills, I was way too emotional to hold the camera still. Raccoons turned out to be bigger and even more adorable than I expected them to be. If I had to rate the days and nights I've spent in Canada separately, the raccon adventure night would probably be somewhere at the top of the list. I've had an amazing time with my host exploring downtown Toronto at night and chasing my raccon dreams. It's all about those small things in life, right?


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