No, there are not sharks lurking in the waters of Lake Ontario.
Discovery Channel has revealed a viral video showing what looks to be a small shark swimming on the end of a fishing line, is actually part of a marketing push for Shark Week, airing next month.
The video was shot near near Wolfe Island, not far from where the St Lawrence empties into Lake Ontario. Since being posted to YouTube July 10, the video has been viewed over 281, 000 times.
Locals and marine wildlife experts had speculated that the animal filmed struggling with a fish might be a porpoise or a bull shark, a man-eater able to survive in fresh and saltwater.
Despite using an "incredibly life-like prosthetic model shark" in the stunt, Paul Lewis, President and General Manager of Discovery Canada tells NEWSTALK 1010 he did not anticipate fear.
"I think we all thought that the focus would more on 'is it or isn't it' then 'oh my god, this is a shark and let's run!' That really was a surprise," said Lewis.
Some locals on Wolfe Island suggested to the National Post they would not be swimming in Lake Ontario in light of "shark" sightings. Lewis says once safety concerns were raised, Discovery decided to reveal what it had done weeks earlier than it had anticipated.
Lewis says the video was shot about three weeks ago. Great care was taken to make the clip, apparently shot on a smartphone in portrait orientation, look like the work of an amateur. The "shark" itself was manipulated by a man under the water.
Before the revelation, interim Progressive Conservative leader Jim Wilson mused that an unnamed marine boost could help tourism.
When NDP leader Andrea Horwath was asked what she would name a potential "monster," she took the bait. She offered "Big Tooth" as an option, but suggested there should be a contest to figure out a more Ontario-inspired name.
Before learning it was all a hoax, Horwath had also suggested people going for a dip near Wolfe Island should be careful.
Discovery Canada is owned by Bell Media, the parent company of NEWSTALK 1010.