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This is Kristin's dog Marshy. He's a lot more photogenic than my dogs.

This is Kristin’s dog Marshy. He’s a lot more photogenic than my dogs.

Whether you live in a condominium or a house, there are laws for Fifi and Fido to obey. Read on to find out what you need to know cats and dogs in the city:


Every condominium has a set of bylaws that address pets. It’s important to note that the Condominium rules supersede the City of Toronto bylaws and the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Are Pets Allowed in a Condo?
Almost every condominium in Toronto restricts pets. There are endless iterations of pet rules:

  • No pets allowed
  • Only dogs under 25 pounds allowed
  • Only one dog per unit
  • No live reptiles
  • Only one cat, one dog and one parrot per unit (truth, I saw that once).

I often see big dogs in condos that I know have pet restrictions, so there’s no doubt that enforcement varies by condominium. Keep in mind, however, that the bylaws are the bylaws and can be enforced at any time. If you’re looking to buy a condo, make sure your pet can legally live there before you make an offer.

Condominium Noise Bylaws
Residents of condos are entitled to ‘quiet enjoyment’ of their unit and that means they don’t have to listen to your barking dog. Condominium boards have a lot of power, including evicting your noisy dog. I still remember the two barking yorkies who got evicted from my townhouse complex 10 years ago.

City of Toronto Bylaws for Houses

Cat lady1 – How Many Pets Can I Own?
The City of Toronto also has rules as to the number of pets allowed per household.

  • No person shall keep more than SIX of any combination of dogs, cats, ferrets and rabbits at any given time in a home
  • No person shall keep more than SIX cats in one dwelling (umm, hello, cat lady?)
  • Within the combination of dogs, cats, ferrets and rabbits, the maximum number of dogs permitted per dwelling unit three

2 – My neighbour’s dog is constantly barking. What can I do?
Confession: as I write this, my dogs Finnegan and Brella are barking at a squirrel in the backyard. You’d think we’d just been invaded by a group of terrorists based on the racket.

The City of Toronto has bylaws in place about noise, so you can always call 416-338-7297 during business hours to make a complaint. The City is more concerned with why the dog is barking – in other words, they want to ensure that the dog being properly cared for and fed.  I’m not sure how serious they take barking noise complaints, though based on what’s going on in my own backyard right now, I expect I’ll have first-hand knowledge soon. The City does have the power to issue muzzle orders. Imagine?

Here’s a link to the City of Toronto Muncipal Code‘s chapter about pets – it’s actually a fascinating read.

ikea monkey3. Can I keep a chicken coop? What about a monkey that I can bring shopping with me at IKEA?
Backyard hens are mostly restricted in Toronto, though the bylaw is enforced on a complaint basis only. There is a currently a proposal to allow backyard chickens, and a few neighbourhoods are currently being test-piloted.  A family of chickens lived behind our last house and to be honest, the cock-a-doodle-doos were kind of fun to listen to.

The City of Toronto has a whole host of restrictions as to what kinds of pets residents can keep in a home. Specifically restricted are:

  • Cattle, goats, sheep, pigs
  • Coyotes, wolves, foxes
  • Bats and flying foxes
  • Anteaters, sloths and armadillos
  • Tigers, leopards and cougars
  • Hyenas
  • Hares and pikas (rabbits are OK)
  • Kangaroos, opossums, wallabies
  • Mink, skunks, weasels, otters and badgers
  • Chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys and lemurs (damn)
  • Horses, donkeys, jackasses and mules
  • Elephants
  • Porcupines and prairie dogs
  • Rodents exceeding 1500 grams
  • Bears
  • Civets and mongooses

Who knew?

Also: I don’t see anything restricting llamas, so maybe I’ll go out and get one. They’re Brendan’s favourite animals:

brendan and llama




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