The City of Toronto has completed the Pet-Friendly Design Guidelines and Best Practices for New Multi-Unit Buildings.
The purpose of this document is to guide new developments in a direction that is more supportive of a growing pet population, considering opportunities to reduce the current burden on the trees and soft ground covering in the public realm, and provide needed pet amenities for high-density residential communities.
Over the last 9 years, I have consistently advocated for pet amenities in new developments such as pet-relief areas, wash stations, pet spas, and other amenities. One of the most recent examples of success is the Livmore (55 Gerrard Street West) which has a dog spa and outdoor dog area on the 5th floor (pictured below).
These Guidelines will be used by the development industry in the preparation of development applications, by architects to inform the size, location and layout of pet-friendly facilities, and by city staff in the various stages of development application review to identify best practices and help inform decisions that will support pet-friendly environments. The Guidelines are to be used in conjunction with other policies and guidelines. They are not intended to be overly prescriptive, but rather are intended to provide an additional degree of information. The Guidelines focus on three scales: The Neighbourhood Scale, The Building Scale as well as the Unit Scale.
All residents, both pet-owners and non-pet-owners, will benefit from the Guidelines as they encourage design that demonstrates considerations for pets and reduces the impact that they have on our parks, open spaces and the environment. They can also be used to inform renovations and improvements to existing multi-unit buildings to become more pet-friendly.
Stay tuned for more updates about the work we are doing in Ward 13 - Toronto Centre to build new and invest in our existing Off-Leash Areas.