The Best Dog-Friendly Places In Toronto For Pugs

Explore Toronto with your Pug at these dog-friendly places

The Best Dog-Friendly Places To Explore In Toronto With Your Pug

With the start of 2017 we thought it would be fun to wrap up 2016 with a round-up of our favorite dog-friendly places to take your pug downtown in our hometown.

We wanted to try out the new Sony Action Cam we borrowed and film Kilo the Pug as he visited his favorite spots in The 6ix. See a product review for the Sony Action Cam here.

Toronto is a pretty inclusive city that has many dog-friendly spots perfect for people and pugs to visit. Whether you’re looking to enjoy the outdoors, take a walk, play in the park, shop or have a pug party, these are the best places.

Kilo the Pug’s Favorite Dog-Friendly Places

Purina PawsWay

One of our favorite spots on the Toronto Waterfront is Purina PawsWay. They promote the well-being of pets by encouraging responsible pet care. Pet owners or those considering adopting can explore permanent exhibits, attend special events, participate in themed programming, do training workshops and discover the pet world. PawsWay is a Nestlé Purina PetCare initiative and is also the permanent home of the Purina Animal Hall of Fame.

Tim hands out treats to group of pugs at the Pugalug Pug Claus Christmas Party

The pet-friendly place is perfect for events like the launch of Talent Hounds’ Rescues Rock TV series,  PugALug‘s Pug Claus and other fundraiser parties, fashion shows like Strut Your Mutt,  classes like agility, doga and puppy school and Rescue Adoption drives.

See photos from PugALug’s Pug Claus party

The Waterfront

Toronto’s Waterfront is the perfect place for a walk with your pug in any weather. Toronto is home to one of the longest urban lakefronts in the world. From the Rouge River to Etobicoke Creek, the 46-kilometre shoreline has attractions ranging from parks, beaches, marinas to concert venues, art galleries, skating rinks and even a BMX park. TH-Kilo-waterfront-view-364x270

I love to walk with Kilo and see the Tall Ships, grab a coffee at the Starbucks in the Radisson Hotel or Williams Cafe in PawsWay and sit on one of the many lakefront benches or shop at the markets.

Evergreen Brick Works 


Toronto’s Don Valley Evergreen Brick Works has been transforming public landscapes into thriving community spaces with environmental, social and economic benefits. The beautiful space is the perfect landscape enjoying nature, explore the wooded area and shop the farmers or garden markets. It connects with a huge network of ravines and parks to explore.

The Fairmont Hotel

Doug the Pug chilling at the Fairmont Royal York with a special bone pizza from the Chef
Doug the Pug chilling at the Fairmont Royal York with a special bone pizza from the Chef

Out of all Toronto’s pet-friendly hotels, nothing beats the historic 5-star Fairmont Royal York right in the heart of the city. The Fairmont Royal York is a luxury hotel that often sleeps celebrities visiting Toronto like the King of Pop Culture himself, Doug The Pug.

Dog-Friendly Restaurants

What’s better than having an amazing meal or delicious coffee? Being able to enjoy it with your dog.

Tom & Sawyer  -This place serves coffee and cold drinks for humans so you don’t have to tie up your best friend on the street, but its real reason d’être is to serve up freshly prepared pet food. We had our meeting on our 2 dog-related films “Music Rescues” and “Pippy Love” there just before Christmas and it was such a great ambiance.

Thor Espresso Bar – bring your dog on the patio or grab a drink and head to the nearby Victoria Memorial Park

Kilo the Pug Black Tie formal wear

Williams Coffee Pub– located inside Purina PawsWay enjoy sitting indoors on the patio with your dog.

Sassafraz– adored by celebrities, this Yorkville spot has outdoor seating that dogs are welcome to with a bowl of cool water.

Trinity Bellwoods Park ‘The Dog Bowl’

crowd at Trintiy Bellwoods dog bowl for the Novemeber 2016 Toronto Pug Grumble
The November 2016 Toronto Pug Grumble

Trinity Bellwoods Park is a large public park located in the downtown west end of Toronto.  It is a favorite place for local residents to walk their dogs. The ravine, known as ‘The Dog Bowl’, is the designated leash-free area for dogs to play.

We attend the Toronto Pug Grumble hosted by our pal Helmut the Pug at The Dog Bowl. It’s the perfect place to host meet-ups for pugs to socialize and play. I have to say it was a bit frosty in December when we tried to film with the Sony Action Cam and so the turnout was low and I had a few technical fails.

See photos from The Toronto Pug Grumble

Cherry Beach Off Leash Dog Park


In the warmer month’s Cherry Beach’s Dog Park is the perfect place for pugs and owners to cool off in the water. It has one of the largest areas of lakefront and beach of any off-leash dog park in the city. In fact, almost the entire West side of Cherry Beach is designated just for dogs. With the beautiful views of the Toronto skyline and of Lake Ontario, it’s a scenic experience for everyone. The park is large enough to really tire your pug out and is usually busy with a constant flow of dogs to meet and greet. Even unsociable Kilo loves roaming around with his dog cousins and humans there.

 Toronto Dog Parks and Off-Leash Areas in Toronto from Toronto Dog Stuff

Have You Been To Any of These Places With Your Pug?

5 Cool Things About Pugs


Fun Facts About Our Favorite breed!

One of the key ways we can keep dogs out of shelters is to encourage people to do their research on their preferred breed before getting a pet. As I am now a pet parent to Kilo the Rescue Pug, I thought I would share 5 Cool Things About Pugs.


1) Pug History

The Pug is believed to have originated in China as a companion for Emperors, and then to have been imported to Europe around 400 years ago. The pug reportedly became the official dog of the House of Orange in 1572 after a Pug saved the life of the Prince of Orange by alerting him to the approach of assassins. The breed was popular with royalty, particularly during the reign of Queen Victoria in the UK, and frequently pampered like the royalty they are. (Or at least they think they are! King Kilo). The wrinkles look a bit like Chinese symbols and they have lion-like little bodies and love tasting food and alerting to danger or strangers (or in our case the evil mailman).


2) Pug Appearance and Physical Issues

The Pug is a squarely built, deep-chested, compact breed with short legs, a tightly curled tail and an unmistakable flat, wrinkled face with large round, dark protruding eyes. They are known as a brachycephalic breed like Bulldogs and require face cleaning in their wrinkles. They may be prone to breathing issues and are more susceptible to heat stress due to their short nasal cavity. If they do not get enough exercise and an appropriate diet, they can be prone to obesity, so make sure you can invest lots of time to playing with them and find healthy options. Their rolls look cute but it is best to keep them slim to not stress their knees and keep them healthy.

3) Their smooth short coats can be fawn, apricot fawn, silver fawn, or black like Kilo

Kilo is actually a mix as he has fawn legs. Pugs require minimal grooming beyond regular bathing and brushing, but they do shed a lot (more than I expected, even with regular brushing). An investment in some lint rollers may be a good idea if you’re considering a pug. We have black hair on everything and Kilo loves white beds and couches and rugs.


4) Pugs are true companion dogs.

Although pint-sized, Pugs come packed with a lot of cheeky charm and love company and games. I call Kilo my velcro dog as he is always in my lap or by my side and gives lots of pug hugs and kisses (literally he puts his little front legs around my neck and hugs me- super cute). He sleeps or gets depressed if no one is home to play with or cuddle. He is rarely left alone for more than an hour and is particularly attached to me.

The cute, sturdy little dogs usually like children and if properly socialized and trained, can make great family pets. Pugs can make great apartment pets, though they do require lots of attention and the right exercise regime.  Kilo and I do short walks, games and tricks and baby agility together bonding and keeping fit.

5) Pugs are usually smart and eager to please but can be a little stubborn to train.

Pugs are often very food motivated and seem to respond best to positive reinforcement, treats, and patience (Perhaps quite a bit of the latter).  Kilo was not well house-trained when I started fostering him and still occasionally likes to mark white rugs or bath mats or has accidents, especially if it is raining outside. He is not a fan of getting wet. He loves learning tricks because he spends time with me and gets treats. He is still bad at recall and focus, especially out or with strangers, but great in the house.

If you have any funny stories about the Pugs in your life, please share them in the comments, we love to read them!