Is it safe to eat wild mushrooms?
There are several poisonous species in Ontario, and some are deadly. Many edible species have poisonous lookalikes, and it's extremely difficult for an amateur to distinguish between them. The MST recommends very strongly that you don't eat any wild mushroom without the guidance of an experienced mycologist in person.
Where can I legally pick mushrooms?
Gathering or foraging wild mushrooms on private land with permission is legal. Picking mushrooms in provincial parks is not legal.
Many Conservation Areas, Nature Reserves, County Forests, public parks, etc. prohibit picking of mushrooms and other fungi. Take note of posted signage and, if in any doubt whether picking is allowed, contact the authority which manages the property.
Picking wild edibles on Crown land is considered a transient activity under the free use policy, made under the public lands act. You may harvest mushrooms on Crown land if food gathering is allowed on that land parcel. The Crown land use policy atlas will indicate whether or not food gathering is permitted in a particular parcel of land.
Regardless of where you pick, please make sure that your activities are not negatively affecting the plants or impacting the local environment. Harvesting mushrooms, berries, wild leeks, etc. should be done in a sustainable manner to allow for future harvesting. We suggest taking a small amount for personal use and leaving the rest for growth and for future harvests.
Please be aware that there are several poisonous species in Ontario, and some are deadly. Many edible species have poisonous lookalikes, and it's extremely difficult for an amateur to distinguish between them. The MST recommends very strongly that you don't eat any wild mushroom without the guidance of an experienced mycologist in person.
Can I arrange a private guide or walk?
The MST offers group walks and forays for members only. Please see the Help section on Walks and Forays for details. The MST does not offer guide services or private walks for individuals.
If you represent an education or ecological organization, please use our general enquiry form to ask about leading a walk for your group.
Is there a mushroom club closer to where I live?
As far as we're aware, the only organized mycology group in Ontario besides the MST is the Ottawa Mycological Society.
How can I get a mushroom identification book?
The MST recommends Mushrooms of the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada by Timothy Baroni, available from most booksellers.
Can I volunteer to help with the MST?
Absolutely! The MST is a volunteer-run organization and would appreciate your time and energy! Please contact the MST and let us know your skills and interests and how you'd like to help.
Don't worry if you don't know how you can help - just get in touch and we'll find something for you to do!
Can I volunteer to serve on the MST's board of directors?
How can I get MST-branded t-shirts or other merchandise?
MST logo t-shirts and other MST-branded merchandise is available for sale at our regular meetings and occasionally at our walks and forays.