TORONTO -- Dead animals, broken chairs, chemical containers and even a message in a bottle were among truckloads of trash pulled from the Humber River Wednesday.

About 30 volunteers canoed down two kilometres of the river in Toronto's west end, collecting about two tonnes of solid waste.

The Humber River, declared a heritage river in 1999, runs 100 kilometres from the Niagara Escarpment to Lake Ontario.

The cleanup has become an annual event and was spearheaded by Rick Crawford, president of 1-800 RID-OF-IT, a junk removal company.

The avid kayaker says he decided to take action after seeing the amount of solid waste polluting the river during a kayak trip in 2007.

"I see all this garbage and why don't we do something about it?" Crawford said. "We can, and it makes everything better for the community."

Crawford says he's received support from a corporate sponsor, but he hopes the provincial government will also offer support to the cleanup effort.

"It would be nice to come down here someday and see no garbage."