Dog Wars

March 2020

There are an estimated three to five dogs per floor in condo buildings, accounting for more than 30 percent of a building population.  Most buildings lack the infrastructure to handle this population which causes all kinds of problems for residents.

Battles between dog owners and the rest of a condo community are likely to intensify unless changes are made.

Toronto’s dog-themed Berczy Park is a popular destination for pets and people.  Some pet owners allow their dogs to run free in this crowded space.  Another problem is dogs urinating on grassy hills where adults sunbathe and children play, which has destroyed some grassy areas.  Its popularity may not last without some controls on the dog population.

The Spire, at Church and Adelaide, paid $500,000 to replace its dog-urine contaminated parkette in 2017.  In 2018 dog owners at Quad Lofts, King and Spadina, started paying $15 per month to help pay cleaning costs.

Urban living comes with a scarcity of green space.  Most don’t want dogs running around where they choose to suntan, walk or play.  Dogs urinating on grass create unsanitary areas and destroy the grass.

High-rise communities were not designed with dogs in mind.  Nobody imagined so many dogs residing in these buildings.

The solution may be for communities to retrofit their spaces to accommodate their dog populations.  Incorporating an indoor or outdoor dog run would help.  Indoor dog wash facilities would protect building interiors.  Providing access to dog walkers and groomers, and utilizing services for cleaning pet waste from common areas, could complete a dog-friendly package for a community.


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