Ontario looking to loosen the leash on rules for dogs on patios

Oct 29 2019, 12:23 pm

Dog-friendly patios exist in Toronto, but they’re few and far between. At least… for now. The future could see some changes on this front, as the provincial government is making a case for dogs on patios to be more of a thing.

Ontario’s legislature went back into session at Queen’s Park on Monday after a nearly five-month summer break.

According to the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, brought forward on October 28, dining rules in other parts of Canada, such as New Brunswick and BC, are more relaxed than Ontario when it comes to where furry friends are allowed to hang out.

The Act calls for consideration of the permission of dogs in outdoor eating areas, like patios, and in indoor breweries where only “low-risk” food, like beverages and shelf-stable or pre-packaged foods are served.

The document explains that the The Ministry of Health will develop an education and awareness campaign, in order to ensure business owners and public health inspectors are aware of the changes made.

The province said that restaurant owners and operators will be allowed to decide for themselves whether to let their customers bring a dog with them on a patio.

The Ontario government is seeking public and sector feedback on the proposed regulation changes until November 27.  If passed, the change will come into effect on January 1, 2020.

So, if all goes according to the province’s plans, it may not be long before Buster’s allowed to come along for brunch.

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