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Expert says Toronto's rat problem is getting worse

Last Updated May 23, 2019 at 12:19 pm EDT

A video posted to social media has shed light on Toronto’s rat problem — an issue one expert says is getting progressively worse.

Christian Bobak took to social media to post a grainy video showing dozens of rats running around in an alleyway near Bloor and Bathurst Streets. In the short video, taken last Friday night, the rats can be seen running in between several garbage bins posted at the back of four restaurants.

“We were coming down and saw what looked like a carpet of rats, it was really bad,” said Boback. “There were at least a hundred or so rats. There’s no way two traps could ever take care of the amount of rats I saw.”

Toronto Public Health tells CityNews it is aware of the video and sent a public health inspector to the area, saying though they found rat droppings in the laneway, they did not see live rats at the time. TPH says they will also be inspecting the four restaurants on the property.

CityNews crews also captured dozens of rat sightings Wednesday afternoon, where the alleyway was filled with boxes, garbage bins and massive holes that the rats swiftly moved through.

The city owns the alleyway, and says staff were deployed to the area to assess the condition of the pathway and do some cleaning. They will also speaking to the local restaurants about the state of the public laneway to ensure mitigation and address any arising issues.

The city of Toronto has been tracking rodent complaints for years now, and numbers are on the rise. According to their data, there were 924 complaints for mice, rats and rodents last year alone — that number nearly doubling from 472 in 2012.

The city also tracked the number of rodents reported by each ward.

Click on the interactive map below to see the number of complaints in your ward over the past decade: