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Toronto's giant dog fountain a big hit for people and puppies alike

Berczy Park is going to the dogs, and people love it.

Former mayor David Crombie, 81, with his daughter Carrie, 55, at the new dog fountain in Berczy Park.

Eduardo Lima / Metro Order this photo

Former mayor David Crombie, 81, with his daughter Carrie, 55, at the new dog fountain in Berczy Park.

The tiny perfect mayor has added his stamp of approval to the massive dog fountain that's causing a sensation in St. Lawrence Market.

"Look at the kids," David Crombie said, pointing to a young girl dipping her hand into the water while her grandfather looked on. "You can't buy that."

Those are the types of memories now being made behind the neighbourhood's iconic flat iron building. The fences around Berczy Park have finally been removed, revealing the three-tier, 26,000-pound fountain designed by acclaimed Montreal-based landscape architect Claude Cormier. Twenty-seven dog statues shoot water toward a golden bone at the apex of the fountain.

The official unveiling will take place June 28, but the fountain is already proving incredibly popular. Passersby take selfies, kids run around it and many of the 2,000 dogs that visit the park daily enjoy sitting by the water's edge. There's also plenty of buzz on social media, where one Reddit wag dubbed it "Barkzy Park."

"It's really welcoming and it's part of what's happening to the whole area," Crombie said.

He also praised the park's new landscaping, which includes many places to sit, and the attractive background views of both modern and heritage buildings.

Crombie, who was mayor from 1972 to 1978, knows the St. Lawrence neighbourhood as well as anyone. The policies he and his 1970s reform council implemented were responsible for transforming the neglected neighbourhood. Berczy Park was a parking lot until 1980.

Crombie now lives in the area and has seen dramatic change over the last 65 years. Whimsical additions like the dog fountain, he said, not only make St. Lawrence Market more livable but also bring the whole neighbourhood together.

The revamped Berczy Park is especially popular with dogs. We spoke to local canines and their humans to find out what they think of the new attraction.

Kevin Jones, 35, an IT Analyst, with son Nathaniel, 2, wife Carrie Cleyton, 40, a social worker and Wendy, a 4 year old mini Dachshund, Toronto, Monday, June 12, 2017.

Eduardo Lima / Metro

Kevin Jones, 35, an IT Analyst, with son Nathaniel, 2, wife Carrie Cleyton, 40, a social worker and Wendy, a 4 year old mini Dachshund, Toronto, Monday, June 12, 2017.

Steve Delamere, 32, Sales professional and Maggie, a 10 year old Chihuahua mix, Toronto, Monday, June 12, 2017.

Eduardo Lima / Metro

Steve Delamere, 32, Sales professional and Maggie, a 10 year old Chihuahua mix, Toronto, Monday, June 12, 2017.

Ubah Addow, 25, student, with Laika (L), a 1.5 year old Mutt and Marzipan, a 1 year old Doberman Bulldog, Toronto, Monday, June 12, 2017.

Eduardo Lima / Metro

Ubah Addow, 25, student, with Laika (L), a 1.5 year old Mutt and Marzipan, a 1 year old Doberman Bulldog, Toronto, Monday, June 12, 2017.

Kelly Olsen, 34, a stay-at-home-mom and Ben, a four-year-old Portuguese Water Dog.

Edardo Lima / Metro

Kelly Olsen, 34, a stay-at-home-mom and Ben, a four-year-old Portuguese Water Dog.

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