Sometimes you take a few chances – sometimes you jump in the car and navigate an hour of highway traffic to check out a dog event promoted on Facebook. And sometimes that event turns out to be a ‘pop up’ vendor square in a parking lot rather than a festival.
And it turns out alright.
Saturday, September 7, 2019, I took my little black terrier to Toronto and spent the afternoon at Pampered Pooches T.O. in Liberty Village along King Street West. Sponsored by Toronto Art Crawl, the event was promoted actively on social media. Parking was surprisingly easy to find, but the ‘festival’ not so much. Turns out a corner parking lot of Liberty Village was the site of a neighbourhood gathering of local pet supply makers, sellers and service providers under white tents.
What Pampered Pooches lacked in size, it made up for in interesting vendors, several I hadn’t met before. My pup went home with a Toronto Dog Moms crystal collar charm – amethyst specifically – designed to help balance his energy (there’s a lot of it) and calm nervousness, clearing negative vibes in the process. Maybe this is the answer to making him less reactive.
What is a solution today is the stroller – yes, a dog stroller – I won’t leave home with out it … if I leave home with my aging dog and his ACL injury, that is. (affiliate link). He snuggled inside his ‘own space on wheels’ during lunch, as he gobbled up the sample container of ‘Thanksgiving Turkey’ PuppyGang homemade dog food we scored. PuppyGang produces their own ‘gently cooked’ pet food made from whole ingredients and delivers to homes throughout Toronto.
Toronto’s Liberty Village was pleasantly surprising considering the area’s been gradually gentrifying thanks to the city’s perpetual condo building. Pampered Pooches might have been a 30-minutes visit, but Liberty Village is visitor and dog-friendly: shopping included a very helpful Global Pet Foods and a Kitchen Stuff store, where we met two other dogs. Liberty Village is anchored by a grocery store but is home to a few micro-brew pubs, home décor stores and plenty of places to eat.
Speaking of eating …. I found a dog-friendly patio in Toronto!
Barcelona Tavern’s street-side patio is dog-friendly (and encourages it with dog water bowls). Having lunch and a beer with my dog was remarkably civilized considering many patios in Ontario disallow the practice. I wasn’t the only one – two doodles hung out at brunch – and a nearby schnauzer eyed my thick pimento cheese sandwich.
Neighbourhoods are a Toronto strength, and Liberty Village might be one of my new favs.
If you know of other dog-friendly Toronto patios, please let us know below!