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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Campaigning for Doggie Love

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In this episode, Kid-Afie gets close and personal with a local dog lover. Anything to support the movement and get some free petting!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Toronto Dog Park List

Allan Gardens (west end) - Ward 27
160 Gerrard Street East, Gerrard & Jarvis Street

Bickford Park - Ward 19
400 Grace Street at Harbord Street

Burk Ravine (beside Sunnybrook Park ) - Ward 25
Below the Sunnybrook Hospital, on the west side of the West Don River .

Cassels Avenue Playground - Ward 32
69 Cassels Avenues at Brookside Avenue

Cawthra Square - Ward 27
519 Church Street at Wellesley Street East

Cedarvale Ravine - Ward 21
1611 Bathurst Street at Lonsdale Road

Clarke Beach Park (at the foot of Cherry Street ) - Ward 30

David Crombie Park - Ward 28
131 to 171 The Esplanade at Lower Sherbourne Street

Don Russell Memorial Park - Ward 6
Birmingham Street at Faustina Drive

Don Valley Brickworks - Ward 27 or 29?
550 Bayview Avenue

Eastern Beaches (Winter – South of Snow Fencing) - Ward 32
RC Harris plant west to Lakeshore Blvd. and Coxwell Avenue

Greenwood Park - Ward 30
150 Greenwood Avenue at Dundas Street East

Hideaway Park - Ward 30
23 Audley Avenue

High Park (designated area) - Ward 13
1873 Bloor Street West at Parkside Drive

Hillcrest Park - Ward 21
950 Davenport Road at Christie

Jean Sibelius Park - Ward 20
50 Kendal Avenue (Bloor & Bathurst area)
Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday: 7-9am and 6-10:30pm
Weekends: 8:30am to 10:30am and 6pm to 10:30pm

Kew Gardens - Ward 32
2075 Queen Street East at Lee Avenue
At the foot of Lee Avenue, on the beach delineated by fencing.

Monarch Park - Ward 30
115 Hanson Street at CNR tracks

Nordheimer Ravine - Ward 21
326 Spadina Road at St. Clair Avenue

Norwood Park - Ward 32
16 Norwood Road, Woodbine & Gerrard Street

Oakcrest Park - Ward 32
30 Oakcrest Avenue at Woodbine Avenue

Park Drive Reservation Lands - Ward 27
200 Park Drive at Mt. Pleasant Road

Ramsden Park - Ward 27
215 Avenue Road (Dufferin & Eglinton area)

Rennie Park - Ward 13
140 Ellis Avenue

Riverdale Park West - Ward 28
375 Sumach Street at Carlton Street
Lower playing fields, southeast of Riverdale Farm

Sherwood Park - Ward 25
1200 Mt. Pleasant Road at Sherwood Avenue

South Stanley Park - Ward 19
845 King Street West at Adelaide

Trinity Bellwoods Park - Ward 19
790 Queen Street West at Shaw Street

Vermont Square - Ward 20
819 Palmerston Avenue (Bathurst & Dupont area)

Wildwood Crescent Playground - Ward 32
110 Wildwood Crescent (Gerrard & Woodbine area)

Withrow Park - Ward 30
725 Logan Avenue at Danforth Avenue

Woburn Park - Ward 16
East of Bathurst off of Cranbrooke Drive .

Northwest section of the park. This area is fenced off.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Park Battles and Heavens

Allen Gardens

Is a good park with a large off-leash area, but with the usual lack of foresight the city neglected to build a fence of any kind along the Jarvis Street which is almost a highway with its 6 lanes. dogs are dying every season. It also has a lot of vagrant activity, that makes dog owners uncomfortable. There was even a story of a dog being hospitalized after finding a piece of crack and eating it. The park needs redevelopment.

Riverdale Park

This is doggie paradise. No roads, no leash, no hassle. Only fun and play. On a Saturday you might see 20+ dogs at a time all day long and there are lots of big dogs. The off-leash rules are:

  • shared space (as you can see there are a number of baseball diamonds)
  • off-leash in the spring, summer, and fall as shown on the picture, and the part of the park on top of the hill is "on-leash" during that time (its a water play area for kids); then in the winter when the kids are on the toboggan hill, the top part is off-leash.

Jarvis Schoolyard

This is the disputed area. Its a poorly kept school yard field and track used regularly by up to 50 dogs. The yard is big and well fenced, perfect for young small and large dogs that need to run in a safe area. It is the only yard of this nature in a radius of a 20 minute walk.

Monpegue Parkette

This park is a bit of a local affair, but all dogs and dog owners are welcome. Its small and has a fence along the road, backs onto a set of houses and is flanked by 2 buildings. One of the buildings has the charge of maintaining the park because its parking garage is build below it. The park could use some work, and the people generally pick up although you might not think so. There are just so many dogs using this park that you're bound to have some midnight misses. The park is free of undesirable activity common in the neighbourhood because there is almost always someone there with a dog.

Watch the whole video series from the beginning!

More parks will be added soon. To learn more about dog parks, check out this list.

Rescue - A Protest of Love

The Canine Insurgency supports the rescue of dogs from abuse and shelters. One of its main characters, General "The Kid" Afie, is a 12 year old rescue from The Toronto Humane Society.

Afie's history is not well known, he was at The Humane Society as a puppy, adopted for 10 years then returned. Adopted for a month or so, and returned. Was there for 11 months before being adopted by Christopher Guest.

He was in bad shape at that time, glassy eyes, tripped on his feet, was afraid of tall grass, couldn't run, and would go half speed on any incline. There was times when he would just refuse to go down hill because he didn't want to walk back up.

But his real problems were fear and possessive aggression including biting.

We can imagine a story that would easily lead this state of canine blues. American Eskimos are known to be very loyal to one person and aloof or yappie toward strange people and dogs. The were breed as circus performers and likely also used as guard dogs. They are very smart and easy to train. Afie had no doubt been to obedience training, and knew all the usual tricks. He walked behind his walker, he would sit on command and was very treat motivated.

But the problems would come up after dark and they included night terrors, aggressive panic attacks and a general suspicion of everything. This include toys and food waved in what a normal dog would consider a playful way. But more importantly he was and remains concerned about the hands of people.

This is what happens when physical discipline is used on the dog with poor family support and socialization. And this is the most dangerous situation for a dog. Ask any behaviorists and they will likely advise putting the dog to sleep once a dogs is biting for fear of being handled. Especially if children are in the home.

But one year later, there are many more good days than bad days and he's the star of the hit dog soap opera Canine Insurgency (watch it from the beginning).

We will post the full story by Christopher Guest and how he turned Afie around as a case study soon. Until then enjoy the show.

Meet the Show's Stars

Road Call!

General "The Kid" Afie

The Old Grump keeps the young troops in line!

Captain Flappy

Wants everyone to be happy


Is loving life.


The gentile giant, with the speed, spirit and a heart of gold.

Willow Rose

The den mother we all need.

Watch the whole video series from the beginning!

Be Part of the Canine Insurgency

Welcome and thanks for checking out the Canine Insurgency.

If you live in Toronto and love the dog lifestyle, we'll come and feature your neighborhood park.

All you have to do is contact us and tell us about your park. You email us at

All submissions will be answered. And don't forget to mention the time on the weekend when your park is most full.

And if you are from somewhere else and want to start your own Canine Insurgency franchise, then email us and we'll set you up to make a little extra money for your dog community association or doggie daycare. Its fun and easy, so join the movement.