The best things (parks) in life (Toronto)

This week, the BH writing department has decided to shake things up a bit and do something a little unorthodox with our blog. A list of the best dog parks in Toronto is always welcome and useful, but a list of the best dog parks in Toronto composed by dogs who frequent them is even better. I have asked the Bone House resident dogs - Sam, the ever-alert-always-up-for-a-wild-game-of-cat-and-dog, pug, and Jones, the most welcoming and auspicious co-worker I've ever had the pleasure of co-working with - to put in their two cents and help us compile a list of their favourite dog parks in the neighbourhood. The title of this blog does suggest that the list will be Toronto wide but in fact, we are focusing mainly on the Leslieville/Riverdale parks, which, let's be honest, are probably the best in Toronto anyway. Eek, too much? I don't care! WE LOVE LESLIEVILLE!

BoneHouse: Sam, may we call you that? What is your favorite outdoor activity?

Sam: (snorting...heavy breathing...eyes closing...)

BH:  Sam?

S:  Hmm? Oh, favourite outdoor activity? Probably smelling stuff. Just whatever, really. Looking as stuff, smelling stuff, you know. Being a dog, I guess.

BH: Right, being a dog, I guess. And do you have a favourite dog park in the Leslieville?

S: I tell you, it's Cherry Beach, bar none. Despite my top-heavy physique and propensity for inhaling water up my nose, I do love a good swim. There's nothing like the smell of dead fish in Lake Ontario. And the very best part is when you actually find a dead fish and your human is a little ways away and you can just roll your entire body in that dead fish and it feels like you are made of magic.

Jones: May I interject here? I have to agree with Sam, there's nothing quite like riding home in the car, with your head hanging out the window after a good romp at Cherry Beach and knowing that, at least for that car ride, you can enjoy the eau-de-poissons you have rolled in.

BH: Okay, then. I guess what we'll take from those responses is that it's lovely to take a dip in the cool water on a nice hot summer day. And that there are usually lots of dogs present and ready for a good game of chase-the-other-dog-now-chase-me. And that there is a wonderful mix of shade and sun, surf and sand, forest and trail. And that it's quite nice to catch up with other dog people who frequent the park. Jones, is it safe to assume that Cherry Beach is also your favorite dog park?

J: It is. I love swimming and getting dirty more than anything. But there are lots of other places to get dirty in Leslieville too; Gerrard and Carlaw, Jimmy Simpson, Greenwood Dog Park, Riverdale Park, even Hide-Away Park sometimes has puddles and stuff.

BH: Great! Do you have time for a quick pros and cons list?

J: I do. Gerrard and Carlaw pros - it's shady and you can always count on lots of pooches to welcome you, cons - sometimes there are a few too many pooches welcoming you and it can get a bit ruff (**tee hee). Jimmy Simpson pros - really great crowd, morning, noon and night. Also it's great feeling like an outlaw and hiding from the leash police. This brings us to cons - the leash police. Greenwood Dog Park pros - great rodeo grounds, I could really let loose chasing some squirrels there...

S: Uh, Jones, I've been there. No squirrels.

J: ...cons - pee scented gravel pit. Actually, that's sort of pro too. Riverdale Park pros - the baseball diamond!! I love running the bases with my best mates, I'm kind of super fast so..., cons - sometimes you have to share the field with humans playing really awesome ball games like cricket, baseball and stuff and they get pretty rattled when you try to join in.

BH: Nifty. Well, I do believe this has been far more informative than one would expect from interviewing dogs. Thank you both for your time. Treat?

And here Sam both dogs run through their repertoire of tricks - sitting, lying down, spinning, bowing, speaking - and scarf down a couple of biscuits like they're going out of style. Silly dogs, so distinguished and mature until the "T" word is uttered. Not to point any fingers here, but Jones was actually pretty calm during the whole reward process, it's Sam that seems like she's never been fed. Ever. 

We hope that was helpful, have a great weekend!