Calgary

The Petropolitan will be Calgary's first downtown 'urban kennel'

Looks like downtown is going to the dogs. And cats.

Council approves new business in Palliser Square that targets pet-loving humans

Calgary city council approved a new land use designation that will allow a dog and cat boarding kennel to open downtown. (Shutterstock/Chendongshan)

Looks like downtown is going to the dogs. And cats.

Calgary's city council approved the first land designation of "urban kennel" on Monday.

Besides being a new business that its owner thinks will find a niche in pet-loving Calgary, the start-up will help fill some empty commercial space downtown.

The Petropolitan will be a dog daycare on the ground floor of Palliser Square, but also a 24/7 boarding kennel for dogs, cats and maybe other critters.

Hailey Seidel said she looked at cities like New York and San Francisco to see how such a business can work. She believes there's a market for the thousands of pet owners who work downtown or live in the core.

She points out most daycares and certainly all boarding kennels are located outside downtown.

"My biggest goal in creating this project was to create a service that was really quite seamless with someone's day-to-day life, something that was really easy for them to access and efficient for them to use daily," said Seidel.

And apparently, she won't have to worry about the neighbours. Located on the ground floor at the west end of Palliser Square, the business will be next to a driveway and no one lives next door or above her space.

As well, there's the pet-friendly Edison building right across the street. Both the Edison and Palliser Square are owned by Aspen Properties.

Hailey Seidel hopes The Petropolitan will fill a need for downtown workers and those who call the core home. (Scott Dippel/CBC)

There are small off-leash areas in the East Village and in the Beltline, but Seidel isn't worried about the Petropolitan having its own outdoor space like most kennels.

'Climate-controlled, indoor play spaces'

After all, these are urban dogs.

"The dogs get walked multiple times throughout the day, getting lots of fresh air and Vitamin D," said Seidel.

"And then we have climate-controlled, indoor play spaces with all-natural lighting and so I think it's going to be an amazing fit for all the dogs that are commuting into the core and living down here right now."

Mayor Naheed Nenshi calls it a nice idea for a business as Calgary's downtown population is increasing.

He said the business wouldn't have been possible downtown without creating a new land use designation, as the existing kennel category requires outdoor space.

"We had to actually create a way that you can have a kennel without needing a bunch of outdoor dog park space and so on because you can take the dogs to a dog park rather than have your own space," said Nenshi.

As for the propensity of dogs to mark their territory, Nenshi quipped, "How funny is it that it's at the Calgary Tower?"

Seidel said with council's approval of the new land use designation in hand, The Petropolitan should be open by the end of February.

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