Toronto Couple with Service Dog Turned Away By Prince Edward County B&B

Lawyer says decision a violation of Ontario's Human Rights Code

A Toronto couple were “set aback” after being told that Sunrise Bed and Breakfast in Bloomfield, Ont. would not allow their service dog to stay on the property. David Greenwood, a visually-impaired Toronto man, relies on his black Labrador Romy to help him get around. Greenwood and his wife, Jill, were informed that the B&B had a no-pet policy that also applied to service animals, which left them without accommodations.

Sunrise owners John and Joan Stenning admit they’re upset with what transpired, but stand by their decision.

The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario told CBC in an email statement that the business must adhere to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), which stipulates that people who require service animals must be allowed to enter spaces open to the public with them.

Accessibility lawyer David Lepofsky labeled the Stenning’s decision a violation of Ontario’s Human Rights Code.

“The frustrating thing is this: people who use a guide dog or a service animal continue to face exclusion and discrimination all over the place,” Lepofsky told CBC.

“In the year 2017, it’s ridiculous.”

The Federation of Ontario Bed & Breakfast Accomodation admits it’s never explored the legal parameters of whether or not B&B owners must house service animals.

“If someone requires a service dog, our general policy is the service dog should be allowed into the house,” Doug Frost, president of the Federation of Ontario Bed & Breakfast Accomodation said.

Lepofsky is aiming to push the provincial government to clearly define the laws around this issue.

Image via Trip Advisor