Brooke Manning

Get to know the owner of Likely General & Jane the dog

By the Get Leashed Doggy Style Team

Brooke Manning_Get Leashed Magazine

Shop dogs are pretty much our favorite thing ever. They make a store friendly and welcoming; they’re basically greeters that get paid in treats! That’s why we love Likely General. Not only is it an open and encouraging space to shop and connect, but it’s the second home to Jane, owner Brooke’s lovely dog who fits seamlessly into the shop. For starters, she’s beautiful. She’s also friendly but reserved with a quiet manner – the perfect dog to compliment a store dedicated to artists and their fine goods.

Brooke has created a wonderful space for creative people to showcase their artwork, adding to the funky vibe of Roncesvalles, one of Toronto’s hottest hoods. In supporting up-and-coming artists and designers, Brooke’s shop is full of unique gifts people can feel good about buying. Read on to learn more about Likely General and Jane the dog, and be sure to stop in for a look (and a scratch!) the next time you’re cruising Roncesvalles!

Brooke Manning, Likely General - Get Leashed Magazine

Please tell us about yourself:

I own a shop in Roncesvalles called Likely General. It is a pet-friendly retail store, a gallery, an event space, and a workshop space, selling and promoting work by up-and-coming artists and designers. We strive to be an open and encouraging safe space to shop and connect. When I am not busying myself with shop-related tasks, I make music under the moniker LOOM and I am the co-editor of a Toronto-based publication called The 4 Poets. If I’m not in the shop, I’m working from home or on an adventure with Jane, my partner, and my friends.

A bit about your pet:

Jane is a sweet, mild-mannered husky shepherd northern rescue. It’s always been important to me to adopt dogs. My friend Carolyn and I got Jane together at an adoption day one afternoon in October. I remember it vividly because I closed the shop to go down to the street to cuddle some puppies and all of a sudden we were coming back to the shop with Jane. I had another older girl at the time and they got along well. Jane was shy, and docile. She had a large scrape on her nose, perhaps because she was bullied. For the first 5 months she went to work with me nearly every day, and when I wasn’t working we’d take her on adventures. I share custody of her with Carolyn and it works so well. Jane has a big family, she loves our friends and my partner Steve so much. She’s a very timid but social dog; once she falls in love with you, she’s yours forever.

Jane - Likely General - Get Leashed Magazine

What does your ideal weekend look like?

When I’m not working, I’m writing at home. When I’m not writing, I’m in High Park, or  visiting friends, brainstorming, watching their bands perform, taking weekend trips to other cities with Steve and returning with too many books…that sort of thing.

Describe your personal style:

Simple and very minimal on the outside, old-Hollywood glamour on the inside.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by honesty, sound, love, fear, my female friendships, my partner’s care and work ethic, the poetry in the mundane.

Likely General - Get Leashed Magazine

How would you describe the look and feel of your shop?

My shop (like my home) is minimal, functional, and warm. I love clean lines, and cosy nooks with unexpected patterns. It’s incredibly important for my space to be dog-friendly; I changed my entire business model to accommodate pups. Dogs ease stress, provide comfort, and just generally cheer people up. I’ve loved dogs and animals since I was a little girl and it brings me so much joy to see them pull their owners into the shop to greet Jane and I.

A story about Jane:

Jane is a gentle protector, lover, and teacher. There have been so many times we’ve witnessed her help timid dogs and humans alike learn to trust her. She’s goofy, and encouraging like that. She’s also very in-tune. If ever she suspects I am in danger, she saves me with her rare wolf-like growls. I work at the shop every Saturday and Jane comes with me. She loves laying on the ramp that leads into the shop, sunbathing, people watching. She sometimes takes herself to the record store down the street but she always comes back. She just likes to make the rounds.