“Starting a Business, Starting a Life,”
As seen in Neighbours of Bloor West Village & The Junction
Photo by Anne-Marie May
Article by Sara De Marco
Bloor West Village is the neighbourhood with one of the highest number of registered dogs. This is what Jen McCain, owner and operator of Dogtopia in Bloor West Village, discovered while opening her franchise in the neighbourhood and why this neighbourhood has become a home to her, a dog lover and owner her entire life. Jen McCain opened Dogtopia, Bloor West in December 2017 after she decided to quit her job to do something she had been passionate about since she was a young child. Growing up, Jen couldn’t understand why her dogs couldn’t come with her on vacations, believing that it was “fundamentally wrong” that her dogs couldn’t stay in as nice places as the ones she would be staying. In researching mom-and-pop dog daycares, she found Dogtopia, a dog daycare with now 67 stores across North America. She decided to open a new location in her own community, and started her own local daycare, boarding, grooming, training and spa for dogs in the neighbourhood. She is also the part owner of the Dogtopia location in Newmarket as well, aiming to build the best dog daycares in Toronto.
Jen and the Bloor West Dogtopia family recently hosted their Grand Opening of their new Bloor Street location on March 24, providing dog owners, dog lovers and the community in general the opportunity to see all of Dogtopia and its features, with no closed doors. “It’s been great opening a business in a neighbourhood that’s so family oriented, entrepreneurial and supportive of the small business owners,” says Jen. She also wants to give back to the community with Dogtopia, sponsoring a Swansea hockey team and even looking to host community events in the near future. Jen’s partner, Martha Maytham works with a Canadian fashion designer, Mikhael Kale based in Toronto. Together, Jen and Martha have two dogs; Chey, a bernedoodle, and a lab chow named Holly. They love to walk their dogs, spending their Saturday mornings walking around High Park and the neighbourhood, stopping by the local coffee shops and markets. Jen and Martha are also a part of the rescue community, directly working with Save our Scruff, fostering dogs while they find new owners and homes for them. Currently, she has been fostering Ziggy, a “Jam Pup” mix from Jamaica. They love being a part of the neighbourhood dog community as well, even occasionally recognizing dogs playing in the park from being at Dogtopia. Jen also loves to get active, playing hockey in an all girls hockey league twice a week, as well as on a second team with Martha. Jen is also on the board of Canada’s National Ballet School, helping to start their Young Patrons Group and is involved in a family foundation. Jen and Martha love frequenting the local establishments and discovering more of the community each day. They love their life in the west end, planning for their future in the neighbourhood and the community.