Article content continued
The guidelines also make suggestions for pet friendly units. For example, by implementing vinyl flooring, which is soft on paws and sound absorbing, or by creating showers with a built-in bench to wash a pet. In terms of relief areas, there’s advice on usual materials and how to implement a drain. In the case of The Merchandise Lofts, the hydrants act as a disguise for the pipes in its drainage system.
Aside from cleaning duties, the winter months also force owners to go into the cold, but even worse for a dog, they risk the chance of being aggravated by downtown traffic while having to walk on salt, a potential hazard for paws. The Merchandise Lofts make an effort to not salt the roof’s dog areas, but to instead clean the surfaces once a day.
You shouldn’t have to choose between owning a dog and living in a condo in downtown Toronto
Realtor Craig Ferrie, who also lives in The Merchandise Lofts, cites the area as a reason why many clients decided to move to the complex. For Arafat and Reynolds, they wouldn’t have adopted Ernie without the amenities. They allow them to operate their business, Page One cafe, in the same building.
“You shouldn’t have to choose between owning a dog and living in a condo in downtown Toronto,” says Reynolds.
When one of them comes back from work, around 4 p.m., they’re able to take Ernie to a park, a process that will become even more crucial when he outgrows his current 20-pound stature, to his full-grown size of 90 pounds.
But in the morning before heading to work and at night before going to bed, their condo’s pet amenities are crucial, especially since they’re located in a safe and accessible area of the building that includes surveillance cameras.
Using these dog areas, Reynolds and Arafat have also been able to meet other pet owners and create friendships. When walking through the complex, Ernie is waved at by neighbours who know him by name, while his best friends include Kimchi, a French bulldog, and Mabel, a Boston Terrier.
“It’s very hard to get a sense of community in a Toronto condo building,” says Arafat. “Everyone who owns a dog knows everyone else who owns a dog. Sometimes, you just know the dog’s name and not the owner’s. It happens, but we’re all part of this community, the dogs included.”