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Dog-Friendly Dives?

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I just got a new puppy, and I am eagerly awaiting my move back to Toronto next fall when I finish school. Does anyone know of any good casual hole-in-the-wall, breakfasty, meet-friends-for-coffee type places that will allow my pooch to stay by my side? Thanks

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  1. Well, there are patios that allow dogs to sit close by on the other side of the fence. Two i've seen are the bar across from much music on the south west corner, if I recall its a Firkin.
    The second is on front street, near SLM. Its the place right on the NE corner of front and church.

    1. Unfortunately (or fortunately, I guess, depending on your point of view) animals other than guide dogs are not allowed in any food establishments according to the city's restaurant health regulations ( http://app.toronto.ca/food2/FDFAQRegu... -- see #25 ). While I have noticed a few little cafes and similar that seem to occasionally turn a blind eye to regular customers with small dogs, I wouldn't point them out here as I imagine that they could lose their green status if they were "caught in the act", so to speak.

      Agree that your best bet is a patio with your dog on the other side of the fence; many places offer bowls of water for just this purpose. Not so much fun in the winter, though.

      BTW the restaurant with the patio near the SLM that pancake is referring to is probably the Hothouse Cafe; a block east on the northeast corner of Front and Jarvis there is also "The Corner Place" with a good patio.

      1. It's flat out illegal to bring a dog into a Toronto restaurant (service dogs excepted). The occasional resto will let a dog in - especially if it is very small, well behaved, and quiet - but it only takes one complaint to end that practice permanently.

        I will never reveal the names of the few places that have allowed our dog inside. It doesn't hurt to ask at a place where you are known, but a "yes" is extremely unlikely. This is also true of patios, though Red Rocket Coffee on Queen E has a "dog friendly patio" sign.

        1. There are probably more dogs per capita in the Beach area than anywhere in the country. There are about three bakeries devoted just to making dog biscuits. Restos and business are dog-friendly by default. Many provide water bowls . Dogs outside patio fences by their owners at most restaurants and cafes is a common sight. So check out Queen Street East in the Beach.

          1 Reply
          1. re: fatman0000

            Thank you, yes its hothouse cafe....i'm so bad with names....

            why wouldn't you want to bring your dog out with you? :)

          2. Unfortunately, Toronto is so not dog friendly...many places won't even let us have our dog on the patio while we eat. Duff's Wings on Bayview didn't even let us tie our dog outside in the middle of the winter while we went in to order take out. One staff quickly came out to tell us that was their patio and dogs weren't allowed!! We never went back to that place again.

            2 Replies
            1. re: tampopo

              That's odd - I was there this summer on a warm day and we had our dog tied up to the outside of the patio fence. The waitress graciously brought out a dish of water for her, and refilled it when the water was gone.

              1. re: SNACKeR

                The patio fence must be the big dividing line for them, even in the winter. This happened to us a couple of winters ago. The patio (which is an extension of the sidewalk) was not in use...no patio furniture in sight! We tied our dog on the inside of that fence when the guy came rushing out to tell us we couldn't do that.

            2. There is one eating place that you can bring your pet inside. It's the Williams Coffee Pub in the Paws Way Pet Centre at Harbourfront. http://www.pawsway.ca/

              There is a gate separating the eating area and the ordering area, pets are not allowed close to the food at the counter, but they can sit with you when you're eating. They can get away with it because it's seen as part of the pet centre. They do serve breakfast but it's very limited, I think some kind of wrap.

              1. I find Ontario's laws very ridgid compared to some places in the world. For instance, here in good old Toronto it's quite acceptable to feed pigeons any freaking place you please, even outside a restaurant.....UCK

                As far as the poster's inquiry is concerned, Strattigners on Queen East will allow a dog outside the patio fence..they even provide a bucket of water. Have also been told that Whistlers at Broadview & Mortimer allows well behaved dogs on their patio.

                But, as one poster mentioned, anywhere food is served is a "no no" for the pooches, even though the filthy pigeons are on every patio we've ever been on.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Jay98

                  It is indeed against the health by-laws to allow a non-working dog (or any other critter, for that matter) inside any food-service area, including food stores and outdoor areas such as patios. However, the area outside the patio barrier, in the vast majority of establishments is in public space, such as a sidewalk, so a leashed dog has every right to be there, if as well behaved as would be expected on any city street (no pooping, no menacing, etc.).

                  The business owner is allowed to request the dog not be leashed to their patio rails, in the same way they can ask someone not to lock a bike, but if the leash is attached to a public item, like a signpost near the patio, they have no right to complain. Most Restos with street-side patios are very good, with many offering doggy water bowls (some even keep a stash of treats).

                  As for service dogs, if you ever see a restaurant refusing entry to the animal, I would really encourage you to complain, anywhere and everywhere (start with the local municipal representative), because this is illegal. And for those of us allergic to dogs, just request a seating change. It is much easier for us to get up and move than it is for the blind person at the next table.

                2. I've never had a problem on the patio at the Rhino in Parkdale with my dog. Food sucks there though.

                  1. Any recommendations of patios downtown that you know let dogs sit outside of the patio fence?