It’s no secret that Torontonians are dogged about supporting their favourite neighbourhoods. If you’ve lived in the GTA for any amount of time, you probably have a strong opinion or two about the best neighbourhood to visit for a coffee, grab a pint, or get the shopping done. If you’ve lived in the city for a long time, there’s a 100% chance you’ve bent the ear of a pal from out of town about why [REDACTED] neighbourhood sucks and [REDACTED] neighbourhood is the BEST, hands-down. At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference, which got us thinking about how folks have similarly strong reactions to dog breeds. So without further ado, here’s what dog breeds we think represent these popular Toronto neighbourhoods.
Old Town Toronto- Yellow Lab
Family-friendly. Old school. Reliable.
The Doodlefication of the dog world may be on trend right now, but the Yellow Lab has held the title of most popular dog breed for decades- and we don’t see that changing anytime soon. Are we biased? Okay, maybe, but as the oldest neighbourhood in Toronto, we’ve earned our doggone bragging rights. This canine is a classic for a good reason: energetic and up for adventure but equally happy to hit up local haunts. Likewise, Old Town Toronto is a balanced blend of old-school charm and contemporary cool, from the world-famous St. Lawrence Market to striking new landmarks like the Berczy Park Dog Fountain.
Cabbagetown- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
While the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a descendant of the toy Spaniel, a favourite of English nobility as far back as the 17th century, the dog we have today is a relatively modern breed from the 1950s. Like the CKCS, Cabbagetown is has gone through a similar transformation, rebranding itself from a humble working-class neighbourhood to one of the most expensive and admired residential areas in Toronto with heritage buildings dating back to the 1840s. The tree-lined streets of Cabbagetown are great for a stroll, and there are plenty of spots to grab a bite or a pint fit for a king from Jet Fuel Coffee to the House on Parliament.
Very pretty. A favourite of artsy types. Can be kind of a lot.
How do you know someone lives in Leslieville? They will tell you. Leslievillians are dogged about singing the praises of their East end hood. Likewise, Greyhound owners love to wax poetic about the virtues of their sleek companions that are famously creatures of habit who prefer to stick close to home. Boasting undeniably cool spots like In The Groove Records and Ascari Enoteca Leslieville has earned its friendly but hip cred.
Chill. Family-friendly. Sociable.
You know that cool clock bridge over the Don Valley on River Street that signals you’re entering the east end? That’s where Riverside begins. Oh, did you think that was Leslieville? As Whippets may be confused with their larger cousins the Greyhound, so too is this “small town in the big city” mistaken for the (somewhat) larger Leslieville. But don’t let its stature fool you: Riverside boasts 4 acres of parkland, perfect for the speedy Whippet to, erm, whip through. Wonder why Whippets are always shaking? It’s a side effect of the caffeine jitters caused by all the coffee they’re chugging from noteworthy indie joints like Venom Coffee and Sparkplug Coffee HQ.
Lively. Expensive. Keep away from children.
Either you “get” the Chinese Crested, or you don’t. This cute yet peculiar-looking pup has a high price tag, and while sweeties to some they don’t gel so well with kids or first-time dog owners. Bred to make a statement, the Chinese Crested comes with a hefty price tag and an unmistakable look. With its row of luxury boutiques, high-end restaurants, and Instagrammable shop windows, Yorkville is a place people go to be seen– Vaticano Italian Restaurant is even billed as a “celeb-friendly spot.” If you’re looking for luxury, you’re barking up the right tree.
Was your neighbourhood on the list? If not, what dog would it be? Let us know by DMing us on instagram @oldtowntoronto. Be sure to check out our Business Directory of Old Town Toronto’s growing list of shops and services here.