Toronto's Yorkville Neighbourhood Is Drowning in Dog Poop

Monday Apr 13th, 2015



"It's everywhere," the co-president of ABC Residents Association in Yorkville says. "It's all over the parks, it's on the sidewalk outside Holt Renfrew."

The "it" Caliendo is referring to is dog poop. Yorkville is ground zero for the city's condo boom, and with the new development has come dogs. Lots of them. 

And with the dogs has come poop. Lots of it.

"We're drowning...up here," Caliendo said.

Most dog owners are responsible, but scooping scofflaws have become a real issue for the Yorkville community. Caliendo is lobbying the city for more bylaw enforcement and the residents' association has refused to approve new condo developments that lack on-site facilities specifically for dogs. 

The city is aware of the issue, and the staff is considering making pet amenities a requirement for all tall buildings, city spokesman Bruce Hawkins told Metro. "We already have a statement 'requesting consideration of on-site amenities," he said. "What we are looking to do is make this language stronger."

The poop problem is particularly odious at Jesse Ketchum Public School on Davenport Road. Despite a nearby dog run, owners are flouting leash laws and letting their pets do their business on the school's new $500,000 field. 

"The feces is all over the field. It's a real hazard for the kids," said David Cherrington, a parent at the school. 

Caliendo doesn't think the problem is unique to Yorkville. He said many densifying areas, from Liberty Village to City Place, are up to their necks in dog doo. 

One solution, he said, would be adding a smell levy to maintenance fees to help pay for more bylaw enforcement, street cleaning or on-street poop disposal stations. 

Briar De Lange, director of the Bloor-Yorkville BIA, believes remedying the problem involves residents taking a stand against negligent dog owners. "These people need to be shamed," she said.

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