I love shopping – even better when I can take the dog and even better when I think I’m getting good deals. So, I guess what I really love is outlet mall shopping with the dog. Is the Toronto Premium Outlets mall dog-friendly? That’s a question I’ve seen frequently on social media and pet travel groups. The answer is yes, with a caveat.
The Toronto Premium Outlets is mostly dog-friendly, and mostly in Toronto, though not really.
First, the Toronto Premium Outlets mall is actually in Halton Hills, about 60 km west of Toronto. It’s fair to say the Premium Outlets are near Toronto.
Second, although the mall markets itself as pet-friendly, each store makes its only rules. Many of the stores have a ‘no dog’ sign in the window – approximately one-quarter of the mall’s shops. The stores that don’t have that sign, I assumed are dog welcoming.
UPDATE: Toronto Premium Outlets is hosting a Dog’s Day Out, Saturday, August 12, 2023, from 12 pm to 5 pm, outside of the Food Pavilion. Pup cups are available while quantities last.
Is the Toronto Premium Outlets pet-friendly?
Here’s our experience shopping with the dog at the Toronto Premium Outlets in Halton Hills, Ontario:
The Toronto Premium Outlets are outdoors with paths and cement sidewalks weaving through stores, which are mostly larger in square footage and intended to be outlet stores of their name brands. There are clusters of seating area, a fireplace, and gardens and green lawns that frankly served as my dog’s pee pee stops.
Several stores, including my favourite Matt and Nat, and surprisingly the outdoorsy Columbia store are not dog-friendly. Columbia is unusual considering both SAIL and Bass Pro (neither in this mall) promote themselves as dog friendly. However, I took the dog into Mountain Warehouse no problem, because I was looking for more carabiners (especially useful on dog leashes) and ended up leaving with more dog toys.
I did, however, have the opposite reception at other stores. I lingered outside Zwilling J. A. Henckels looking in the window admiring high-end cookware and wondering if it would actually help me cook, when the store employee came to the door and invited me and the dog inside.
No problem going into Coach or Lulu Lemon with the dog, either. Off Saks Fifth Avenue is generally dog friendly as a policy – well-behaved dogs that is, and mine’s still working on that.
But my 1.5-year-old Sprocker pup did ok minding her manners while shopping, though the number of birds flying through the park-like courtyards had her undivided bird-dog focus. Store sales not as much.
The Toronto Premium Outlets (owned by Simon Premium Outlets) has many major outlets and several luxury ones including Gucci, Armani, Hugo Boss, Jimmy Choo, and Burberry. Other popular brand names include Nike, Coach, and Guess. There are 130 stores in total and they are big, so it’s a good leash walk for you and the pup.
You’ll meet others with dogs at the Premium Outlets too. When we were there, some people were very dog friendly, though not as many as I’m used to. Whether it was caution due to the pandemic restrictions only recently being relaxed in Ontario, or a general clientele not as pup enthusiastic as other areas, I couldn’t determine this visit.
Where can you eat with your dog at the Premium Outlets near Toronto?
Dining with your dog is a little harder in cooler weather, though the food court is the primary source for munchies at the Toronto Premium Outlets, and there is plenty of outdoor seating in warm weather.
Madisons Restaurant and Bar is the only eat-in restaurant on site, and it does have a small outdoor patio open during warmer months. Thanks to a provincial relaxing of the dogs on patio laws, this is likely an option for you and your pup during dinner. (I recommend the salmon tartare).
In our experience, the Toronto outlet vs Niagara outlet are equal in dog-friendly status. Check out other Outlet Malls Shopping with the dog experiences here.
If you go….
Toronto Premium Outlets, 13850 Steeles Avenue, West, Halton Hills, Ontario. Mall hours are 10 am to 9 pm on weekends, and 11 am to 8 pm weekdays, although some stores set their own hours and might close earlier than others. Parking lots are crowded – the parking garage is often the easiest option, though being ground level is more desirable with the dog.