Dogs no longer welcome inside Hillside Shopping Centre as of March 1

WatchFour-legged customers will no longer be welcome at Hillside Shopping Centre. The ban goes into effect on March 1. It follows complaints from other customers who were concerned about dogs in restricted areas and owners who failed to pick up after their dogs. Mary Griffin reports.

Eight-year-old Mumford led the way on Monday. His owner, Tammy Carveth, lives in Langford but she and her son were heading to lunch here in the Cook Street Village for one reason.

“We’re here to come for the delicious pizza at Hot House, it’s one of our favourites.  And because we can bring our dog and eat outside. And he gets to enjoy it as well,” Carveth said.

More and more, dogs and their owners are part of a trend, dog-friendly businesses. That even includes restaurant patios that are pooch-friendly, said Nick Papaloukas from Hot House Pizza.

“Here it’s a positive.  There’s a lot of people who walk their dogs around here. And a lot of people bring their dogs, leave their dogs outside. Come get pizza then come and sit with their dog,” Papaloukas said.

The news that Hillside mall is banning dogs as of March 1, 2020, comes as a surprise for dog owners.

In a statement, General Manager Kerry Shular wrote that the policy of dogs banned from Hillside Shopping Centre is because, “…our teams were unable to attend to what was becoming a growing instance of disregarded animal waste throughout the interior of our property and the presence of pets in food service areas.”

READ MORE: Statement from Hillside Shopping Centre

“It’s sad from my part. for my dog which I take almost every day there.”  UVic data scientist Olga Gould said. Gould is an immigrant to Canada. She and her family moved close to Hillside Mall to be able to walk her dog there.

“We moved there because it was easier to walk my dog in Hillside. There are other places, there’s Canadian Tire, which thank god they are there. They are still going to allow dogs inside,” Gould said.

Last summer Gould developed a map of dog-friendly businesses, called Victoria Dog Map  But its popularity took off, and now plots businesses as far away as Spain and Colombia.

“Let’s create a tool so people can take the dogs inside. and not leave the dogs inside the cars. That’s why it was created,” Gould said.

Back in the Cook Street Village, Papaloukas said he believes the ban may impact the mall.

“A lot of people like to go out with their dogs, so I feel it might be a business drawback for them,” Papaloukas said.

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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