toronto eaton centre

We now finally know if dogs are allowed inside the Toronto Eaton Centre

Have you ever seen someone walking, carrying, or pushing their dog in a stroller through the Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto?

Me too, and I absolutely love it — but not everyone seems to enjoy shopping alongside four-legged fur balls as much as animal fanatics, as evidenced by new signs around the mall that specify only service dogs are permitted within.

An Instagram account called Toronto Dog Moms shared a photo this week of what they believe is a brand new, official CF Eaton Centre sign that basically clarifies what has long been seen as a loose and murky rule.

While the shopping centre clarifies in its accessibility policy that service animals are permitted anywhere within the Eaton Centre (save for places that conflict with health regulations, such as food preparation areas), no information can be found regarding whether pets are allowed to visit.

People have asked the mall on Twitter over the years about its pet policy without any response, and crowd-sourced information on sites like Tripadvisor is wildly inconsistent.

Some people online warn that non-service dogs are forbidden within the sprawling urban shopping centre, while others say they see people walking their canine companions across the indoor stretch regularly.

These unclear rules have led to more and more people bringing their pups to the mall, which spans multiple city blocks and sits atop two major subway stations, further confusing observers who in turn think it's okay to bring their pets to The Gap.

Those days are over, it seems, now that the mall has made clear via prominent signage that only service dogs can enter the space.

"There has been a lot of misinformation and communications about dogs being inside the mall for some time and this is the first I've seen of this so I simply wanted to share as this is a new sign that has gone up," wrote the administrator of the Toronto Dog Moms Instagram account when sharing an image of one such sign.

dogs eaton centre

Photo taken at the CF Toronto Eaton Centre, posted to Instagram on Feb. 21, 2023, by @torontodogmoms.

"Please, no pets or support animals in the centre," reads the sign, as posted to an exterior door.

"We welcome service animals who are trained to do work or perform tasks for persons with disabilities. While we love your pets, please do not bring comfort and/or emotional support animals into the centre, as they don't qualify as service animals."

Some people responding to the Toronto Dog Moms Instagram post seem in favour of the policy, specifically regarding concerns about protecting the rights of people with service animals vs. those with unregulated "support animals," while others are a bit bummed.

"I think they made this poster for me specifically because I always bring my golden retriever puppy to the mall lol," reads one comment. "But every store loves him and security guards haven’t said anything!"

"I don't see anything wrong bringing my dog on leash," wrote another commenter. "It's just annoying, you want to spend time with your baby and you have to select time and location. My dog is my only family here in Canada."

Lead photo by

Jack Landau


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