Ontario, Canada has seventy different ethnicities and is the most multicultural province in all of Canada. While its urban capital, Toronto, is the most internationally diverse city, Toronto also boasts the largest dog-per-guardian ratio in all of Canada. With every one in three households owning a dog, Toronto has made a conscientious effort in creating a very pet-friendly community with spas and even pet exercise gyms.
Pet travel is convenient in this cosmopolitan city, thanks to pet-friendly hotel accommodations, walking parks, and all-around animal fun areas. Probably the easiest pet travel area is the tawny yet neighborly area called Yorkville.
Pet Friendly Hotels
The Four Seasons
Location and service awaits you at the first Four Seasons Hotel in the Yorkville area of Toronto. The Four Seasons Hotel invokes a feeling of grandness with its floral bouquets at every turn. You’ll feel like you’ve come home because of the hotel’s detailed attention to service. For instance, on several occasions my concierge prepared walking maps, instructions, and notations on dog boutiques and excursions even before my asking.
To my delight, upon arrival, my “Major” received a gift when we arrived in our room! A basket of fruit for Mr. Major and me. My dog wagged his tail happily while devouring his homemade bone biscuits. The staff will even provide your pooch with specific medical needs if necessary. The Four Seasons Hotel does not charge an additional fee for your pet stay and allows you to keep your pet in your room for short stints. They suggest pet sitters for longer in-room pet stays.
Treat yourself to a night out at Truffles Restaurant, the only CAA/AAA Five Diamond recipient for eleven consecutive years, right in the Four Seasons hotel. This eatery is the only Canadian restaurant that has been awarded the five diamond stars, which makes it worth the weekend trip to visit Toronto just to dine in this extraordinary French find. Actor James Wood travels often with his little doggie and routinely visits Truffles. His diminutive dog is a pampered pal, that left his imprinted chocolate paw prints in the chef’s kitchen.
21 Avenue Road • 416.964.0411 www.fourseasons.com
The Sutton Palace Hotel
Immerse yourself in the European elegance and charm of The Sutton Palace Hotel, located in the heart of Toronto, just minutes from the financial center. This old world charmer features over 300 rooms with original works of art and antiques lending an air of refinement. Your pet is even allowed on the sun deck! The hotel was very accommodating making my downtown visit with my dog an easy one.
The hotel charges a $150 pet deposit as they often allow exotic pets like snakes, penguins, and monkeys. Your deposit is refunded upon departure as long as your pet gorilla doesn’t go bananas! The Queens Park is a lush green haven just west of the hotel.
955 Bay Street • 416.924.9221
The Novotel Toronto Center
The Novotel Toronto Center is conveniently located and a great value for a downtown hotel with exceptionally large rooms and a very pet-friendly atmosphere. The Novotel allows guests to bring their pets into their hotel rooms and also the lounge bar! The Novotel features an indoor swimming pool with a sauna and Jacuzzi, which some moderately priced hotels often do not include, and allows pets on the terrace. A great value at $90-$250 a night!
45 The Esplanade • 416.367.8900
Red Umbrella Inn
The Red Umbrella Inn is a value hotel that has created a dog-friendly environment complete with a DOGGIE BEACH!
RR#2, Minden • 705.489.2462 or 800.461.0316
Shopping Yorkville and pet shops go hand and hand. Here are a couple recommendations.
My Pet Boutique
From low priced to luxury clothing, to an on-site organic bakery, My Pet Boutique is a unique pet and accessory shop, with clothes available for both pets and their guardians, that of course, have animals imprinted on them!
1020-155 Dalhousie Street • 416.368.6896
The Tire Biter
Also in Yorkville don’t miss The Tire Biter for doggie day care, which features doggie slumber parties and a very chi-chi boutique. They pick up and drop off your cat from specified locations for a totally comfy grooming experience.
104A & B Scollard Street • 416.920.9663
A leash-free area within a park is a place where dogs can socialize and run off leash in a safe and secure environment. In the City of Toronto, more than 60,000 dogs exercise the more than 1,000 parks.
Parks General Information Number:
Rennie Park – 140 Ellis Avenue
High Park – 1873 Bloor Street
West at Parkside Drive
400 Grace Street at Harbord Street
Dog Beach – Kew Gardens
Life is a beach for you and your pooch in Toronto, so make sure to head to an area called The Beaches. Located in The Beaches neighborhood, dogs are allowed to run leash free on this section of the beach. Dogs can run leash-less 24 hours a day. The dog beach area is located at the foot of the Kew Gardens, on the beach, between the snow fence and lake – 2075 Queen Street.
The Yorkville Area
Trattoria Sotto Sotto
Exquisite Italian eatery with over 5,000 wine bottles and fresh seafood dishes. Trattoria Sotto Sotto offers a vegetarian-friendly menu with late night dining.
116 Avenue Road • 416.962.0011
Caren’s Wine and Cheese Bar
Enjoy casual cool dining with big portions and many vegetarian options. This dog-friendly find’s best-kept secret is the back terrace where you and your pet can dine – a deux – al fresco.
158 Cumberland Street • 416.962.5158
Brassaii Bistro Lounge
It is located in an elegant King West Village spot. Moderately priced continental fare with vegetarian options.
461 King Street West • 416.598.4730
As a vegetarian option, try their award-winning risotto. A darling wrought iron patio allows you and your pup sample the sushi, too.
202 Davenport Road • 416.925.1903 www.josos.com
Out and About Casual Canadian Style
P.J. O’Brien Irish Pub & Restaurant
It’s a party bar and a clever Irish pub. Worth a stop by, where the happy O’Brien family’s dog is named Guinness.
39 Colborne Street • 416.815.7562
I can’t wait to return to Toronto in the spring for another visit with my dog Major leading the way. On May 1st, the Mad Hatter’s Fashion Show will be held at Le Royal Meridian King Edward. This charity event will be held to raise money for the Canadian Centre (www.abuserecovery.net) for Abuse Awareness and will profile children with pink poodles on the runway.
In June, Toronto will be all about the late spring festival of canine love at Woofstock. Over 30,000 dog lovers and their four-footed friends came together. Be sure to bring your favorite Jimi Hendrix guitar and your pup’s rock out tie-dyed t-shirt!
416.410.1310 • www.woofstock.com