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Liberty Village begins its inevitable slide into poop-covered squalor

(Image: Liberty Village: Carlos Pacheco; Dog: Joshua Ganderson)

(Image: Liberty Village: Carlos Pacheco; Dog: Joshua Ganderson)

The latest salvo in Liberty Village’s ongoing war on dog poop was fired in the Parkdale Villager over the weekend. In an article about the problem, local anti-poop activist Geoff Webb is quoted saying that his neighbourhood’s infamous feces issues are only getting worse, in part because the entire community relies on one small park for most of its dog-walking needs. Even more telling is Ward 19 councillor Mike Layton’s quote in the same article: “No one contemplated the number of dogs that would be in the area,” Layton said. “I often joke that there’s five dogs for every half a child per floor in Liberty Village.”

Layton may be joking, but he’s not wrong to suggest that Liberty Village’s poop problem stems from questionable city planning. Railroad tracks isolate the neighbourhood from the rest of downtown, and an abundance of new condo high-rises puts extra stress on the area’s amenities. And those are only today’s problems. The fact that many of Toronto’s new condo buildings are probably only 25 or 30 years away from major capital-repairs crises means things in places like Liberty Village could get worse over time, not better. In other words, the poop may be trying to tell us something.

  • Flootie McTootie

    This “neighbourhood” was always destined to be a shithole. Will be fun to see it decay once all the whites/white-asians move out.

  • Andrea H

    how lovely and racist of you.

  • Flootie McTootie

    Racial =/= racist

  • Denis

    This is definitely an issue city wide. I’m on the east side, near Yonge & Dundas. We have a substantial park. But the problem is the useless people that don’t feel the need to pick up after their dogs. As a result, I recently had a $400.00 vet bill due to some infection my dog picked up in the park. It’s sad because there are a number co-ops surrounding the park, and there are a lot of children, that need green spaces to play in. I wouldn’t want my kids playing around in a dog-poop filled park because of lazy grown ups. I don’t even want my dog playing in the park. Something has to be done!

    The ironic thing is that there are signs from the city citing you must pick up after your dog. I cringe when I watch someone, standing below the sign, immediately not pick up after their pet.

  • Shirley Hutchison

    what does having only one area to walk dogs have to do with people stopping and scooping, pick up after your dog. Liberty village was great until they overcrowded every square inch with more high rise condos. Amenities were put in place as the area started to grow. isn’t that why you pay maintenance fees so as you will have money in your capital reserve fund for major repairs that will hit u down the road. Im sure the condo board of directors for see ongoing repairs as well as major repairs that will happen over time.

  • Hobbs and Gobline

    The article you source for this article clearly places some of the blame on dog owners who can’t be bothered to pick up after their pet and some members of the community who can’t be bothered to have little pride of ownership in their own community. They also provide a source for the story.

    Mr. Kupferman articles removes the any blame dog owners or the lack of community enforcement and switches all the blame on the planners and the City. And randomly quotes an off handed remark by Mr. Layton. Which isn’t a source. What are you trying to propose? The towers are already up. You can’t blow one up now to build another park.

    Then this article drifts into Casandra-isms as the author starts to troll his own post to the topic of the upcoming Condo apocalypse that will happen in 25 years.

    Which has nothing to do with the problem in the first place.

    Why can’t people be responsible for the own actions in the city? Sure, the city can play their part to help the community by placing more garbage receptacles, or ticketing pet owners, but I don’t understand this attitude of blaming the city because some citizens can’t be bothered to care. The one person is the community who seems to care is now become fearful of become harassed her own community because she posted pictures of owners leaving doggy doo in the street. Now there’s the beginning a real story about condo community.

    I guess some other news source will have to pick up the journalist slack that goes on here.

  • Keith

    I think the problem starts with, having a dog – or two – in a tiny condo.

    How about not having a dog?

  • blonny

    This is why you buy a pre-build Lib. Vag. condo with barely any money and no job 7 years ago. You wait 5 years for it to be built while it appreciates by $150k, move into it for a year. Then flip it to some sucker before it becomes a slum because trust fund babies don’t know how to take care of ***nice things or perform simple tasks like pick up after their dogs or not barf in the elevator.

    ***poorly built, not installed correctly, cheapest material available by labourers who couldn’t care less

  • blonny

    You’re right dog owners bear their share of the blame. But it doesn’t take a genius to see that Liberty Village is the worst planned cash grab in modern times in this city. Proper city planning wouldn’t solve the dog sh*t problem, but it would curb it to a level that other communities seem to find acceptable.

  • http://www.tomrowlandson.com/ Tom R

    It’s too bad about how that area was developed, West of Hanna it’s a really unique industrial neighborhood. I find the townhouses on the eastern end are worse than the big towers aesthetically.

  • radicalrecruit

    Just to be clear TorontoLife, in the article I did state very clearly that it was a shared responsibility between park/pet users and Liberty Village residents and that we are getting a lot of assistance from the city and community and local businesses to start to address the issue of pet waste. And for the record I’m not an Anti-Poop advocate, I’m a Community, Parks, Pets Advocate, not anti-anything. Is there a problem, yes, can we solve it working with community partners and developers — you bet.

  • Ryan

    First world problems in the white ghetto.

  • Pet Service Directory

    More parks in the area might be nice for dog owners, but regardless of how many parks there are, owners still need to be responsible and pick up after their pets!

  • chominggirl

    I can’t believe on it because http://goo.gl/QBaHdV

  • MLeeK

    The trouble is you are always going to have a percentage of free-riders in every system, and good planning accounts for that. If resources (like space available to dog owners) is a scarcity, all your free-riders are confined to already overused resource, and that resource degrades very quickly. Usually, you’ll also end up with even more free-riders because some people who wouldn’t normally abuse the resource say “What the hey. No one else is making the effort. Why should I?”
    City planners know perfectly well that overcrowding an area causes these sorts of problems. They dropped the ball in a big way in Liberty Village.That doesn’t excuse any individuals who act irresponsibly, but the dog shit is one of the first and most offensive ways that the lack of resources is becoming obvious.

  • Orson

    What a turd

  • David

    This has nothing to do with park size or even number of dogs. It has everything to do with selfish disrespectful dog owners who dont pick up after their dog. Its not Liberty Villages or anyone elses job to pickup their.dog shit .

  • David

    Dog owners have All the blame. Its their job to clean up their dog shit. No one elses.

  • Hassan

    Really? The problem isn’t about how many dogs you have in a condo, Or how many condos with pets are in the area, The problem is useless, lazy pet owners that believe they are too good to pick up their dogs/pets droppings. Don’t have a pet if you can’t do one simple thing and pick up it’s poop, useless humans………If your dog poops and you just leave it and continue with your day, than you deserve to have that same dog poop smeared all over you, the same way you are condemning somebody to step in it. Going on 6 dogs over my life time and their is one thing that is drilled into your head over the years, Bring multiple bags during walks, dogs often poop once maybe twice during a good walk. Oh you only had one bag? NO Problem…hold the bag by the side while you pick up the poop with the already used bag. As a community when you see somebody just leave their dogs poop, you should smear it on them, the same way they are condemning somebody to step in it

  • annoyed reader

    autoplaying a video w a commercial??? bye bye

  • Canadianskeezix

    “How about not having a dog?”

    How about not having children? How about not having a spouse?

    The problem is some dog owners not being responsible. Not need for Orwellian solutions.

  • mola2alex

    You are always going to get a % of lazy people. When there is density with little room, the % of lazy people can ruin it for everyone, I think that is the main point although I agree that referencing building maintenance issues has nothing to do with it. And it isn’t just poop. The urine and general dog play kills the grass. I was in one of the first buildings in liberty and previously would use a blanket and sit in the park or throw a Frisbee. I cannot imagine doing that today.

  • mola2alex

    Having some of the larger dogs I see in a 500 sq ft condo is probably not the best pet yet it is happening. I think it is cruel actually.

  • mola2alex

    Good thing they want to build another 35 story tower beside Brazen Head. That will help!

  • mola2alex

    Doesn’t change the density. Dog urine kills grass and the park is in terrible shape not just because of poop.

  • Adam

    Lots of horse shit all over the streets and alleys too, thanks to the police.

  • blonny

    Yes. They should always pick up all their dogs shit, agreed. Also Liberty Village is a complete failure by the City, the developers, and many of the residents. The inability to pick up dog shit is a symptom; is the point I was making.

  • blergh

    how ’bout people need to calm down with their dogs…Toronto is the doggiest city I’ve ever seen. And clean up after themselves to boot…c’mon ppl, personal responsibility.

  • Canadianskeezix

    The issue isn’t necessarily “big” dogs. Nonetheless, those large dogs are likely perfectly happy, well cared for and well exercised. The people I know living in urban conditions provide excellent care to their dogs, and if anything the dogs are overly pampered. You might think it’s cruel (so does my husband, who grew up in the country and can’t conceive of having a golden lab on anything less than 10 acres), but that’s your issue/preference. Some people think it’s cruel to raise kids in a condo, which I think is equally bullshit.

  • mola2alex

    Its not a preference, it is an opinion. I think it is cruel. Most of these people buy cute puppies not realizing how big it will get. They also tend to have 9-5 jobs so the dogs get very little exercise in the waking hours except for a morning deuce and a nightly walk. I think size does matter, a small dog can actually run and stretch out in a small condo where as larger cannot. I am not saying anything about how much people love or care for their dog but people need to be realistic within their means.

  • mola2alex

    I am moving out of this area in a week and glad to be gone. The dogs are one issue but not the only one. The density is another issue which has led to extreme congestion in the area and the infrastructure hasn’t been able to keep up with the growth. Poor drunken behaviour such as prank fire alarms are an issue. My kids goto a daycare where “hookers” are constantly on the prowl right outside the window. There are no places that support a growing family that are affordable. These communities are destined to be for singles and retired folks, two demographics that likely won’t be on the same page.

  • Daniel Hooper

    Funny you think it’s cruel for a dog to live in a 500 sq ft condo, but not for a human…

  • AlyssaMoh

    I’m not saying this happens the majority of the time, but the THS gets many animals on a weekly basis dropped off for adoption after the pet becomes destructive in the owner’s home, and a good 50% of those cases are condos.
    So there are many mid-large breeds living in 600 sf condos that are unhappy and stressed so it is something to consider, and should not be dismissed.

  • AlyssaMoh

    No, it’s not a symptom of anything beyond a totally lazy, jerk owner who exists only in the now. Nothing stops you from picking up dog poo except your desire not to.

    Aside, a separate issue entirely, is that Liberty Village was a terrible, short-sighted design by its developers and was signed off on by the City. And its not the only one.

  • AlyssaMoh

    I like making a huge scene with these people . They usually spit venom, but you can tell they are embarrassed and tend to avoid the area for a bit, especially when other dog owner’s around them rail on them as they walk away.
    Odds are, if you’re that kind or arsehole, there’s no reasoning with you, but you can report them to the city

  • Carl White

    Why don’t all the buildings get together and hire some guy full time at minimum wage to just walk about the park and keep it clean. What would that cost condo holders, about $1.80 a year each?

  • Canadianskeezix

    You’re just making assumptions and generalizations based on your own opinions. Personally, I’m not so quick to accuse whole classes of people of being cruel.

  • Canadianskeezix

    50% of the people in Toronto live in apartments. So, not surprising that the stats match the demographics.

    Plenty of dogs in houses are unhappy and stressed too.

    Nobody said the concern should be dismissed – merely that calling every dog owner living in a condo cruel is grossly inaccurate.

  • mola2alex

    You don’t see a difference between humans and dogs? I think that is even more funny. A human is not a prisoner in the 500 sq ft condo where as a dog is. They cannot open doors, use washrooms, get their own food….why am I even explaining this…

    Bottom line is that the person had a choice, the dog didn’t and hence it is cruel.

  • Daniel Hooper

    Dogs cannot open doors, use washrooms, or get their own food regardless of the size of a condo. Your logic does not impress me.

  • AlyssaMoh

    Yes, I think I can agree 100% to that as well.
    It’s not a cut and dry issue, and dogs are, unfortunately, unable to say: “Hey, Mike, life’s pretty great, isn’t it?” or: “Hey, Cindi – we need to have some serious words”.
    People who are paying attention know when their animal is happy/unhappy, and odds are, they are the owners who are already taking care of their pets.

  • Canadianskeezix

    Agreed. Also agree that even a conscientious owner can sometimes have trouble reading their pets. I highly recommend “The Secret Lives of Dogs”, a documentary aired relatively recently by BBC – real eye opener in terms of the stresses that dogs do face.

  • Canadianskeezix

    Apologies. It’s “Dogs: Their Secret Lives” that deals with the stresses dogs face (and it’s a Channel 4 documentary, not BBC). The “Secret Lives of Dogs” is a different documentary that I happened to watch, but actually deals with something else entirely.

  • AlyssaMoh

    sounds interesting – i think i may have heard of it. Haven’t had a dog for 10 years; I had a border collie and when she died, it broke my heart at 17. I wonder how tuned i would be to a dog these days.
    I’ve had a 2 cats for 7 years, and its a very different type of communication

  • satori3000

    We have next to no enforcement on cleaning up after dogs, or keeping dogs on leashes. That’s the story. If people aren’t able have pride in their neighborhoods, or have enough respect for their neighbors to only let their dogs off their leashes in designated areas then we should be fining people. The fines should be enough to pay for the enforcement. I see dogs off their leashes constantly. It may not be an issue if they aren’t running off, but that rarely happens in my experience.

  • satori3000

    I think if you’re looking for something else you’re on the wrong website.

  • satori3000

    Classing someone by their race is by definition, racist. The negative connotation comes in when stereotypes are added to that racial classification, which often happens… Just saying..

  • ChicChicBoom

    ‘white-asians’? Da fuq? There are enough mixed-race people (of such creed) there for you to actually consider them on the same footing as ‘whites’?

  • CB

    I am also moving out very shortly and also am soooo excited to be out. People not cleaning up after their dogs is an issue, but the larger issue is improper irrigation for dog urine. The little green space there is cannot be used by humans at all as the grass is reduced to mud and the space actually reeks of dog urine. I am a dog lover and have no problem with people having dogs but they need to invest in proper irrigation as that urine is ending up in our drinking water! Thank goodness they’ve finally put a traffic light in – before that I felt like I was risking my life every time I walked to work.

  • Ryan

    500-750 sq ft condo owners with dogs – BRILLIANT!

  • BjamesT

    “but he’s not wrong to suggest that Liberty Village’s poop problem stems from questionable city planning”.

    Yes he is.

    It’s not City planning that’s to blame. It’s people planning. Moving into a condo, in the midst of another 3,000 condos, with one park, when you have a dog, shows an incredible lack of planning. If you have a dog, and you’re buying/renting a house, make sure you have the amenities to accommodate your lifestyle.

  • BjamesT

    I don’t think he’s saying people should not be allowed to have dogs, more that if you can’t be responsible enough to pick up after it, maybe you shouldn’t have a dog.

  • http://carlospache.co/ Carlos Pacheco

    Woot, thanks for the photo credit on your article about shit!

  • David Church

    Whipping out your smartphone and taking a photo of By-law Scoffers is usually very effective. You don’t have to actually do anything with the photo – just knowing that they have been photographed is enough to make them change their behavior.

    Works well for taxis and delivery truck drivers getting out of their vehicles in No Stopping zones also.

  • David Church

    Many breeds of large dogs actually need less living space compared to smaller dogs because they are far less active. They just need a couple of good walks each day, they are quite sedentary otherwise.

  • David Church

    Bases on the tone and unsubstantiated statements in your many comments, I imagine some of your neighbours might be equally glad when you are gone.

  • mola2alex

    No, I am not generalizing. I have an opinion that having a large dog in a small place is cruel. Just like vegans have an opinion that me eating meat is cruel or wrong. They are entitled to that opinion.

    I think dogs need more room than living in an average 1 bedroom in liberty village for 95% of the time. Given the amount of dogs in the area and the fact that 1 bedroom 600 sq ft units are heavily over indexed in that area means that the majority of dogs you see are living in smaller units, it is simple stats.

  • mola2alex

    Keyword is ‘many’. Many also need more. My new neighbour has a cute little boxer puppy. They live in a tiny unit. A friend of mine had a boxer in a 3 bedroom townhouse and that proved to be disastrous. Very little outdoor space and hyper active dog. Every day he came home to a disaster. Sure, it can depend on the dogs personality but that can often be a crap shoot.

  • mola2alex

    Maybe you should READ my comments. Where did I say every dog owner living in a condo is cruel? That is the grossly inaccurate point. To restate my opinion, I feel that having a large dog in a small condo is cruel.

    I also think keeping whales in captivity is cruel but I don’t think having a goldfish is necessarily cruel. Did you pick up the nuance there?

  • mola2alex

    So which point do you dispute? They are all factual. I actually really liked the area when I was a single 20 something and wouldn’t change that at all, it was good times. I would do it again in a heart beat, I was one of the first residents in the area.

    Unfortunately, people grow up and out of those things and priorities change. I have no doubt my pot smoking neighbours (that aren’t considerate enough to use their balconies) might be glad that I am gone. I doubt they care, just as I didn’t when I was more like them. I am not a bad neighbour, I never complain and am always friendly even when they party until 4am and dog pees in the hall. Its on me, I know the area so it is up to me to do something about it or accept it.

    The point I am trying to make is just as stated, it isn’t for families. Do you disagree? Anyway, enjoy the “poop covered squalor”.

  • mjennings

    The planning (or lack of) in the Liberty Street area is horrendous. Anyone with half a brain could see that a wonderful heritage zone was being converted into a soulless and characterless neighborhood for bland suburbanites and their dogs. This area will become a crime ridden ghetto and will become even more of an eyesore as years go by. An example of how Toronto is not ready for primetime.

  • mjennings

    This area was turned into a total piece of shit, so it all seems appropriate.

  • David Church

    I was being merely being courteous in using qualifiers like “many” because you seem to have painted yourself into a corner. But you are making broad statements based only anecdontal stories.

    Spend some time talking to dog breeders and dog behavior experts, or reading the many websites which help people choose an appropriate dog breed. Very few (another polite qualifier) dogs require a large home interior. Adequate outdoor exercise and mental stimulation is far more important to the well being and health of dogs.

  • mola2alex

    So if I talk to people who sell dogs, they will say its great. That’s like asking a sea world trainer if captive orcas are better off in captivity.

    The entire article is about not enough green space and poo everywhere. I highly doubt the owners are taking their dog any farther than the crap filled tiny park. Spending all day in a small condo and a couple visits to that park, great. I for one may get a dog, I am not anti dog but could never imagine doing so in a condo. Good luck.

  • Stephanika

    Based on your lack of knowledge of the english language, I think your comment is invalid David Church. I moved out to Liberty Village last year and couldn’t be happier. It had such potential but it got sold to the devils of developers. The space between metro and Western Battery could have been a park but no… condo.

    Now lets discuss how it’s an absolute genius idea to put another 9 towers right across Liberty Village called Garrison Point. GENIUS! Or how about essentially 3-4 roads in and out of Liberty Village. Great planning.

    At the end of the day who’s benefitting? The condo developers. And city parking (the tickets …. FML).

  • Stephanika

    haha you’ve never travelled to Europe then. Or Peru and other parts of South America. Go to Paris…. you need all eyes on the sidewalk at all times.

 

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