Don Valley Team


First time at Dogtopia? We are here to help! There are a few things pet parents should review and prepare prior to coming.

As Dogtopians, we're a unique breed, we love and care for your pup like our own furry family.


At Dogtopia of Don Valley, our passion is caring for your dog. More about our team below!

Meet the Team

Bryan Ward and Kelly Downing, Owners & Operators

Full-time dog lovers. Proud dog parents to Dani & Duncan, two lovable hounds. Dani is a 6 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback who’s a very talented counter surfer while Duncan is a 5 year old happy hound mix who’s an adventurer at heart.

Bryan was born in Toronto and grew up two blocks away in the Pleasant View area of North York. He worked in the product development field, supplying retail products to major North American retailers. Bryan was fortunate to have travelled many parts of China and North America. Kelly was born and raised in Ottawa and moved to Toronto in 2002, worked in telecommunications for 17 years and finally attained her goal of living a dog-focused life while meeting other dog loving people in the community.

Kelly and Bryan decided to turn their true passion into a family business by opening a dog daycare. They discovered Dogtopia which aligned perfectly with their values. Using positive reinforcement techniques, Dogtopia chases the highest possible safety standards and operates a state of the art facility.

VANESSA, General Manager

Vanessa is the leader of our Pack! She studied Political Science and has always had a passion for animals.  Recently married, she moved to Scarborough in the summer of 2021 with her husband and two dogs – Cody who’s a senior Golden Retriever and Blaze a lovable Rottweiler x American Bulldog mix. Following her passion, she has been with Dogtopia since 2019 – crafting her canine language & leadership skills. At Don Valley Vanessa is a fountain of knowledge for our pet parents, always engaging and often cuddling your pup like her own. As our General Manager, she manages daily operations and is also responsible for our social media + events.

SIMPSON, Operations Manager

Simpson rocks a positive attitude and gives 100% effort to everything! He joined our team as a Canine Coach in the Fall of 2021, evolved into Rover, and earned the role of Operations Manager. Born in India and raised in Abu Dhabi, Simpson has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and is currently an International Student at Seneca College. He has a true passion and love for dogs including his dog – Lufer, the 2 year old Labrador Retriever! Simpson is dependable, hard working and kind spirited. We are grateful for his ongoing dedication to the dogs in our care and applaud his ongoing interest in learning and growing.

TESSA, Front Desk Coordinator

Tessa was born and raised in Scarborough. Growing up she had two miniature Doberman Pinchers named Nova and Sadie. Tessa is loyal, adventurous and artistic. At Dogtopia, you will often find her smiling face at the Front Desk as she is the first point of contact for new and current members of our pack. She also loves cuddling your pup like her own and helping out with our photo shoots and events.

GREG, Rover / Canine Coach / HR

Greg brings years of experience managing a local coffee shop and packs a positive attitude that is much like a dog, loyal and easy-going. With a diploma in Music Industry Arts , he loves all things related to music and guarantees our dogs will have the best playlists curated for event days at Dogtopia! Currently back in school for IT internet security, Greg is now working part-time as Rover, Canine Coach and handles all things HR-Payroll related at Don Valley. His favourite places to unwind with his pups include Sunnybrook Dog Park and Riverdale Dog Park. He is pet parent to Darby & Roy – chihuahua mixes that resemble little foxes & Freddie the cutest cat.

TRACY, Rover / Canine Coach

Tracy truly loves dogs! Growing up, it was always her dream to have a Chocolate Lab. This dream finally came true when she got Jimmy her 10-month-old Chocolate Lab. During her spare time, Tracy loves going to concerts, listening to music and spending time with friends and family. Her favorite sport is hockey and she loves the Pittsburgh Penguins. At Dogtopia, you see Tracy in action meeting and greeting pups at drop off or getting them ready to go home at pick up. She is also a great coach and loves meeting new pack members!

JILLIAN, Rover / Canine Coach

Jillian loves dogs + museums and art galleries! She often spends downtime walking around the city or finding a new hiking trail with her dogs, Luna the German Shepherd and Farley the Aussie Shepherd. Her Favourite park: Berczy Park,  Favourite Holiday: Halloween! (She makes costumes and decorations) and Favourite Pastime: Camping or anything outdoors 🙂

CARLA, Rover/ Canine Coach

Carla grew up in Trinidad and Tobago living on a farm with lots of lovable working dogs. Her favourite dog was a little chihuahua named Pepe. She has worked at Dogtopia since July 2022 and says she loves caring for dogs, and the Dogtopia Team is like family. During her free time she loves doing karaoke and cosplay. She also works as a Princess at Children’s Parties!

AKRITI, Rover / Canine Coach

Akriti loves animals more than humans which is why she loves every aspect of working at Dogtopia! She’s nurturing + patient and caring. Currently an international student studying to earn a Diploma in Finance, she wishes to one day adopt a shelter dog giving it a second chance at a happy life. When not busy petting dogs and studying she like to get out an enjoy nature walks.

CANINE COACH, dog's best friend

Our playroom Captain! Our Canine Coaches job is to create a safe and fun play environment for each pup. With extensive training that was certified by a canine behaviourist, they actively manage the playroom by playing games, reading dog body language, supervising play using positive reinforcement and redirection while also teaching manners (sit, stay, come, play, and polite door greetings). Most importantly ensuring it’s the most exciting day ever!

Bischon Frise Running in Dogtopia
Big dog on Dogtopia playroom equipment
Pup with Tongue Out in Bath
Connect with us You’re just steps away from the most exciting day ever!