Put a novel twist on your Toronto visit by bringing your BFF (best furry friend).
Travelling with Rover is easy when your destination is as pet friendly as Toronto is! Canine tourism is on the rise and no one knows this more than the hotels, shops, spas and patios that welcome dogs with open arms.
Here are 6 secrets for making the most of your human-pup vacation.
1. Book your room in a pup-friendly hotel
And while most hotels charge extra to include your dog in the reservation, the Westin Harbour Castle is an exception, with no additional fees.
2. Hit the parks
Toronto has hundreds of parks and parkettes, so you’ll likely have multiple options not far from your hotel’s lobby.
But if a long and leisurely walk is Priority 1, head to one of downtown’s top waterfront parks: Cherry Beach Clarke Beach Park. Located in the east end, where Cherry Street meets Lake Ontario, the park includes a spacious off-leash dog area with shady trees and lake access. (Bring your sneakers: there’s lots of room to roam!)
Bathurst Quay’s Coronation Park is home to another fenced off-leash dog park with waterfront views. Or if you’re visiting St. Lawrence Market during your stay, stop by Berczy Park to take a photo by its whimsical water fountain, which features 27 dog sculptures—plus one sassy cat.
PRO TIP: Dogs are welcome on all Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) trains, buses and streetcars during weekends and off-peak hours.
3. Go on a shopping frenzy
Ready for some dog-centric retail therapy? Roncesvalles Village’s The Kennel Café carries holistic foods and organic treats for doggies, while The Dog Bowl on Dundas Street West offers a carefully curated collection of healthy treats, nutritional supplements, toys and gear for pampered pooches.
Dogfather & Co (with locations in Yorkville and Rosedale) is famous for its orthopedic memory-foam dog beds. And don’t forget Timmie, a one-stop-shop for supplies, snuggly stuff and treats, with locations on Queen Street West and in Leslieville.
4. Unwind with some spa time
Why not split up for a few hours of human and canine self-care? Treat yourself to a mani-pedi, massage or facial at one of the city’s top spas after dropping your fur baby off at their own spa.
Spaw Boutique takes grooming super seriously, with comprehensive packages plus a host of à la carte services to keep Lola looking lovely. Or try Tail Spin Dog Spa, a downtown pooch oasis with a deluxe spa menu.
5. Enjoy an alfresco meal
Torontonians live for patio season. The good news is that many of our top restaurants have patios where you can dine next to (or across a short fence from) your dog.
They include Sassafraz (Yorkville), The Keating Channel Pub & Grill (near the dog park at Cherry Beach Clarke Beach Park), plus Mildred’s Temple Kitchen and Local Public Eatery (both Liberty Village).
6. Meet some new friends at pack events
Toronto’s dog-focused summer event never disappoints. Party 4 Paws Pet Fair & Adoption Day (May 27 & May 28, 2023) is a family-friendly event with vendors selling treats, toys and gear for dogs (and their cat siblings). It’s held at Trinity Bellwoods Park, a local fave for its fun off-leash area.