Joel Frost has been in the raccoon business for a quarter of a century — but he's never seen anything like this before.
On Wednesday, Frost was called to an empty semi-detached house on Hiltz Avenue on, near Queen Street East and Greenwood Avenue, after a neighbour complained about noises coming from their attic.
What he saw when he got to the Leslieville home, left him wide eyed.
"When I first spoke to the neighbour, she said she saw three raccoons at the front door just 10 minutes before I showed up," said Frost, a field supervisor at AAA Gates' Wildlife Control.
"We unlocked the front door and sure enough, there was 11 of them, all just kind of huddled up in the corner."
That's right: Eleven raccoons stuck inside a porch.
It was so rare, says, Frost, that he had to capture the sight on camera.
Frost says he started by inspecting the home, before entering the porch to find the animals. From there, he used an animal-control pole to gently poke at the raccoons to coax them out.
"I've been doing this for 25 years now and I've never seen 11 all piled up in a front porch before," said Frost. "Usually you'll see three or four tops, but I've never had 11."
"It was hilarious," he said.
Frost thinks multiple families of raccoons made their way into the home and onto the porch, and weren't able to get back into the main house.
"It almost seems like a one-way door effect, where they were just climbing up over into the front porch but they couldn't get back."
His approach was to get the animals out and lock up the area so they couldn't get back in. But a number of the raccoons didn't seem like they wanted to go, he said.
"It almost seemed like they're nice and comfortable there and they didn't really want to leave too eagerly."
And for anyone worried about the pole used to coax out the raccoons, Frost wants everyone to know it wasn't harmful to the animals.