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 who decided to turn their true passion into a family business by opening Dogtopia of Don Valley in November of 2020. They operate a top dog facility and chase the highest safety standards. Proud dog parents to Dani & Duncan, two lovable hounds. Dani is a 8 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback who’s a very talented counter surfer while Duncan is a 7 year old happy hound mix who’s an adventurer at heart.

VANESSA, General Manager

Vanessa is the leader of our Pack! She studied Political Science and has always had a passion for animals.  Once married, she moved to Scarborough in the summer of 2021 with her husband and dog, 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.

TESSA, Front Desk Coordinator

Tessa was born and raised in Scarborough. Growing up she had two miniature Doberman Pinchers named Nova and Sadie. At Dogtopia, she is the first point of contact for new and current members. Tessa is loyal, adventurous and artistic. She helps orchestrate our event days and many creative art projects taking place in house! She can’t resist cuddling many of the sweet young pups, you’ll often find one cuddled up on her lap for their mid-day nap 🙂

MARIANNE, Front Desk Coordinator

A Scarborough native, Marianne grew up with a family who LOVED animals, especially dogs! She is dog mom to Yuki, a spunky and sweet Yorkie mix. Currently a full-time nursing student who balances work and studying with hobbies such as rollerblading, playing the piano, reading or hiking with Yuki. Marianne enjoys working alongside a family-like team and meeting all the dogs and their pet parents! Building relationships with customers has made the role at front desk extra rewarding.

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.

JULIA, Rover / Canine Coach

Julia joined our team in the Spring of 2021. She is a Toronto native and recently graduated with an advanced diploma in sustainable energy and building technology from Humber College. She holds a diploma in architecture from George Brown College. Working with dogs has always been a dream of hers. Growing up her family always had Yorkie’s. She currently has a senior yorkie named Buddy, who’s her fluffy potato! 💖
Julia loves adventure and is quite creative. She has a small Wood Burning business called Timber and Torched where she makes custom coasters, ornaments, signs etc (making pet portraits are her favourite!) Check it out on Instagram @timberandtorched

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 🙂

EMILY, Rover / Canine Coach

Emily is a dedicated member of our team at Dogtopia. She treats every dog as if they were her own and is always ready to lend a helping hand. Her punctuality is a testament to her dedication, especially in a fast-paced environment like ours. Growing up with dogs, she’s no stranger to the joy they bring, and she hopes to adopt a dog of her own soon!
She has a background in sociology and statistics, yet was truly drawn to work with animals. In her spare time she enjoys immersing herself in fantasy books and serenading the daycare dogs with her vocals.

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.

Thomsun, Canine Coach

Thomsun is a natural with dogs. He is patient, calm and compassionate. With five dogs back home, he said “Dogtopia makes me feel right at home, ensuring I never feel like I’m missing my pets too much”. His schooling years were spent in the vibrant cultures of Kerala and Qatar, which gave him a rich and diverse educational background. He holds a degree in Physiotherapy from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in Karnataka. After graduating, he worked as a physiotherapist in palliative care in Kerala for one year, a deeply rewarding experience that honed his skills in patient care and empathy.
His favourite part about working at Dogtopia: is the genuine joy and unconditional love received from the dogs every day and being a part of a team that is dedicated to their well-being. Hobbies include: bodybuilding. and listening to music to relax and unwind.

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!
I have a question

Don Valley

Mon 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tue 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wed 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thu 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Fri 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sat Closed
Sun Closed