Toronto might have a dog poop problem.
A resident in the Humber Bay Shores area noted an increase in people not picking up after their dogs, and that has led to more people reporting the problem across the city.
“I live on St. Clair and Bathurst area and that area is a mess. I have to be skipping dog poo when walking,” one person recently wrote on Facebook.
“Take a walk on Yonge Street north of Eglinton… doggie doo doo on the sidewalk every step of the way… just don’t let me catch someone not picking up!” another said.
A woman who lives near Fairview Mall says she is disgusted by dog poop in her neighborhood. She thinks it is a citywide problem.
“We prided ourselves in Toronto being like New York, but cleaner, and it doesn’t feel like we’re cleaner anymore,” Keisha tells blogTO. “It feels like it’s a dirty city.”
Keisha says she is a student and that while at home studying she has seen people leave their dog’s waste behind. The problem has gotten worse with a new condo development adding more people and pets to the neighbourhood.
People seem to have little regard for the area, she says, and come over to a green space in the Toronto Community Housing development with their dogs.
“They can come by and like, just let their dogs literally crap all over our green space.”
She has contacted 311 and they tell her she needs to provide the address of the offender, which she doesn’t have.
“Nothing’s really being done, I’ve contacted the city multiple times, because I’m like, there’s like garbage everywhere,” she says. “It’s this really great area that’s letting Toronto become a smelly city.”
She thinks security cameras, fines or even an education campaign might help. It could be that there are many new dog owners since the pandemic started. City of Toronto statistics actually show fewer dogs registered in 2020 (42,937) and 2021 (48,664) compared to 2019 (49,638).
But there are more than 230,000 dogs in the city right now and some owners, perhaps new, don’t seem to care about waste.
Toronto’s animal bylaw states every dog owner is required to remove and dispose of dog excrement left on properties anywhere within the city, the Municipal Licensing and Standards department tells blogTO. Those who don’t can face a $300 fine. But the city says the first step is to let people know the rules, why they are important, and to ask that they take steps to comply with the bylaw.
The City has Green Bins for organic waste in all dog off-leash areas in parks, other select locations in parks and a few street litter bins that accept dog waste across the city.
Bylaw enforcement officers will respond to complaints (called service requests) made to 311, the city states.
In 2021 the city responded to 111 complaints about dog excrement and in just the first two months of 2022 that number is already 52 complaints.
For Keisha, the city is just not tackling the problem.
“Toronto, so expensive, but it doesn’t seem like 311 or the city makes an effort to clean up.”