Restaurant refuses service to man with hearing dog
An Oakville man says he won't be bought off with a free meal after a restaurant refused to allow his hearing guide dog into the premises.
Peter Stelmacovich, his hearing dog Flora, and some colleagues went for lunch in Toronto last week.
Stelmacovich takes Flora with him everywhere he goes.
But even though Ontario law says Flora is allowed into restaurants because she's a working dog, Stelmacovich says he was refused service.
"The gentleman absolutely refused to let us in. He said that we would have to sit on the patio — but it was too cold," Stelmacovich recounted.
Stelmacovich said he was offered seats in separate dining area upstairs. He says he was embarrassed by the suggestion of being segregated from other patrons.
"There were plenty of tables," he said.
The manager of the Spring Rolls restaurant didn't want to appear on camera — but over the phone he told CBC News it was never his intention to offend anyone.
He said the empty tables were for other patrons with reservations and he offered to welcome Stelmacovich back with a free meal.
Stelmacovich said he won't be taking Spring Rolls up on its offer of a free meal.
He's looking into filing a formal complaint.
"I want a bigger and general awareness of service dogs and their rights," he said.