Who We Are
Our Pets (past and present)
Dr. Scott Mathison
Scott co-founded Queen West Animal Hospital in 2000. He received his Bachelors of Science at McGill University, a Masters of Forest Science in wildlife ecology at Yale University and completed his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College as the class co-valedictorian. His professional interests include surgery, dentistry and practice management. When not at Queen West, Scott can be found at his cottage on the Bruce Peninsula or in the neighbourhood with his children and Standard Poodles, Willow and Violet.
Our Take: after graduating from Yale, Scott attempted to pursue clowning college and although he never passed a single class he still thinks he’s the funniest person in Toronto. He is the president and sole member of the “I love poodles named after plants” club and can often be seen frolicking in the park with his two poodles, Willow and Violet. Known by his staff as the human Google; Scott often preaches about travel, literature and ridiculous facts that no one would ever need to know. He knows how to make (and drink) a killer cocktail and spends an inordinate amount of time trying to find the new “hot spot” which will be impossible for you to ever get in because it’s so exclusive (or so he tells himself). Although he likes to tell the same story over and over again, it never gets old because his story telling technique is unparalleled. Staff and clients alike gravitate towards his ability to make you feel one of a kind and this is why he’s the heart of our clinic.
Dr. Paula Fisher
Paula received her Bachelors of Science in biology from the University of Guelph, and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Ontario Veterinary College. After graduation, Paula spent two years working in Bristol, England; first at the Bristol Veterinary School’s Feline Centre, followed by small animal private practice. Before working at Queen West Animal Hospital, Paula also was employed at the Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Toronto. Her professional interests include feline medicine, geriatrics, surgery and emergency medicine. Paula currently lives in Toronto with her husband, Hans, her two lively boys, Nate and Theo and a Siamese named Rudy.
Our Take: PAW-la came back from England after she realized she much rather preferred lattes and brownies over tea and crumpets (that AND the fact her British accent didn’t sound as good as she had hoped after a few months). She shares absolutely everything; cupcakes, hilarious photos of her two boys and her sweet dance moves with the entire hospital. One day she even gave up her Glory Hole Donut for simply a “hug”. She’s the only veterinarian in history who maintains perfect hair, makeup and overall general appearance no matter what is happening. She is in love with her Siamese cat Rudy (even though he’s tried to kill off the entire staff one by one). Need a shoulder to cry on? She’ll give you three. Paula is one of the humans that are comparable to unicorns; you don’t want to believe they exist but boy oh boy they do.
Dr. Che Ng (Lead Veterinarian)
Che received her Bachelor of Science (Zoology Specialty) from the University of Toronto, after which she spent two years working in research and education at the Royal Ontario Museum. Che then attended Veterinary Medicine at the University of Sydney in Australia for 5 years. She returned to her roots, back to Canada and worked as a small animal and exotics medicine practitioner in Barrie and Mississauga before joining Queen West Animal Hospital. She currently lives in Downtown Toronto with her partner and their young rambunctious Beagle, Emmy Lou. Her professional interests include surgery, emergency medicine and geriatric medicine. When not in clinic, Che enjoys spending time with her family, cooking up new recipes and baking up a storm!
Our Take: Che is a force of nature, the kind of person with whom you’d want to face the apocalypse, assuming that’s something you’d want to do. Not only is she the first veterinarian at QWAH to ever set foot in the food storage room, she completely reorganized it early on in her tenure at our hospital! She can regularly be found aggressively cleaning the staff kitchen, sorting through leftover food in the staff fridge and ransacking closets and shelves. Her hobbies include organization, reorganization and organization. Seriously, she’s a massive asset to our hospital, so much so she was named Lead Veterinarian. We love her and are so lucky she calls our hospital home.
Dr. Paul Holland
Dr. Vedrana Rakocevic
Deborah joined QWAH in July of 2013 as Lead Receptionist, and has worked in the veterinary industry for the past 12 years. Deborah has worked as everything from a Veterinary Assistant to Practice Manager. She has also worked in a management capacity in other fields but decided she wanted something a little more meaningful. She has been happily working with pets and their humans ever since. In July, 2014, Queen West happily promoted Deborah to Practice Manager. Deborah is married to a wonderful guy named Gabe, and they have their own private petting zoo with a Schnug named Frannie, a Spinone named Tess, a Pug named Delilah, and more cats than should be mentioned here.
Our Take: Deb is probably the best thing that’s ever happened to QWAH. It’s a lot to put on her shoulders but it’s unabashedly true. She’s everything one could ever want in a practice manager and has taken Queen West to even greater heights. We love you, Deb!
Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVT)
Sara (Lead RVT)
As the official co-op student of Queen West, Amanda spent her last two years here learning the ropes of the clinic and became an official part of the team in 2015. She is a graduate of Sheridan College’s Veterinary Technician program and also has her Bachelor of Arts in Television and Radio from Ryerson University. When she isn’t cuddling her two cats, Lo and C.K., she can be found playing hockey, soccer, spending time with friends or working on her paintings. She loves caring for all the beautiful fur babies and spreading her infectious dance moves around the hospital.
Our Take: Amanda has a very loud voice, which is both her best and worst feature. Best when our staff meetings become a little too rowdy and we need someone to settle the group down and worst pretty much any other time of the day. Her interests include drinking wine. Anyway, it seems like Amanda has been with us forever. Wise and capable way beyond her years, she’s taken QWAH by storm. Known for what might be termed as a ‘big personality’, Amanda is a tour-de-force. Thankfully, she works for us.
Brittany joined Queen West Animal Hospital in February 2016. She graduated from the Veterinary Technician program at Northern College, Haileybury Campus in 2015. When not at work, she is usually out to dinner or at the movies with her boyfriend, Darcy, spending time with family and friends, or staying in with her dog, Bella, cat, Leo and rabbit, Jinx.
Our Take: Brittany is sweet to the bone, and best of all, she laughs at all the owners jokes. She seems to be perpetually in an amazing mood, is always willing to help, get involved and brighten up any day!
Beth’s love for animals started at an early age when with her parents, Beth attended Field Trail competitions with the family’s golden retrievers. It was only natural that she took that love of animals and went on to graduate from the Ridgetown College Veterinary Technologist distance program through the University of Guelph in 2001. Over the last 16 years she has been employed at Emergency Clinics in the ICU, Clinical practice and in Pet Health Insurance. When not working Beth can be found in her back yard with her husband, Sean gardening, enjoying a glass of wine, reading and taking photographs around Toronto and Oakville. She has a senior black lab named Beauty and two spunky young cats, Tyrion (yes that Tyrion) and Peanut . She can’t walk by any dog or cat without stopping to say hello; Sean her husband says that’s why they were late for their rehearsal dinner!
Our Take: Beth has an old timey RVT air about her; like she’s seen and done it all, which she probably has. She’s a big personality, which is always welcome at Queen West. With all the youth in present ranks at Queen West, her battle worn experience is very much appreciated.
CURRENTLY ON MATERNITY LEAVE
Leigh joined Queen West Animal Hospital in October 2017, after having worked at other small animals clinics in the GTA. She graduated from the Veterinary Technician program at Georgian College in 2011 and became a Registered Veterinary Technician shortly after. Her professional interests include dentistry and oncology, but she loves any opportunity to work hands-on with the animals. When she’s not at work, Leigh enjoys travelling, photography, cooking, horseback riding, fixing basically anything and training and competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. She has a brown tabby named Reba (no, not that Reba) and a huge soft spot for senior dogs and cats. She hopes to one day offer a loving home for senior dogs to retire in peace and comfort.
Sam joined Queen West Animal Hospital in early 2018 after graduating from Sheridan College’s Veterinary Technician program. She’s had a passion for helping animals as long as she can remember and became a dog walker as soon as she moved to the city before deciding to become a technician. Since graduating, she has loved this profession because she gets to spend her days helping animals in need! She loves that there is always more to learn which keeps it interesting. When not at work, Sam can be found cuddling up with her two x-men cats, Beast and Storm and spending time with her partner, Julian. She also loves to host parties and cook for her friends and family!
Our Take: The thing we like most about Samantha is her laugh. Not her initial, controlled laugh, but rather that which erupts when you catch her off guard or hit her with a flurry of hilarity all at once. What comes out can best be described as a visceral giggle, likely unchanged from her days on the schoolyard. It’s so endearing it makes us forget how terrible an employee she really is. Seriously, she’s an amazing RVT! In a short time, she’s become indispensable, and her fearlessness in taking on new tasks has been so appreciated. We are so fortunate to have her as part of QWAH. Thanks, Sam!!
McKenna graduated from the Veterinary Technician Program at Algonquin College in April 2017. After doing her co-op and working at a small general practice clinic in Whitby for a few months, McKenna decided she would like to work in a busier, more fast paced environment. She happily joined the QWAH team in October 2017. McKenna is extremely excited to be working here with us and for what the future has in store for her. When not at work, McKenna enjoys spending time with her wonderful boyfriend, Braden, and with her friends and family. She enjoys snuggling with all cats and dogs, especially her cat Fry, her Yorkie Ella and her Husky Shiloh.
Our Take: McKenna quit and then came back so we don’t like her very much. During any given week, however, we don’t actually know whether she’s employed at QWAH. She just seems to randomly show up, do some work and then leave. It’s very confusing. Seriously, McKenna is a way better RVT than she realizes, and has made giant strides in her skills. We’re very lucky to have her periodically, assuming we do…
Lara graduated from the Veterinary Technician program at Seneca College in 2017 and shortly after became an RVT. Since then she has spent a year working at a clinic in Richmond hill before joining the team at Queen West Animal Hospital. When not at work, Lara enjoys listening to audio books, spending time with family and friends, sewing and upcycling old clothes. Most of her days are spent with her cocker spaniel mix, Theodore, a ball of energy who keeps her on her toes.
Our Take: Lara is sweet to a fault. “Too nice”, “too often in a great mood” or “inappropriately kind” are the unfortunate descriptions we hear most often when people gossip about her, which they do a lot. Joking aside, though a new RVT, Lara clearly possesses what it takes to be great at her job. We’ve been doing this a long time and you just know when you’ve landed a winner. Lara is one of those people. Lucky us!
Jamie joined Queen West Animal Hospital in April 2019. With two years of working in emergency veterinary medicine under her belt, she is now in pursuit of a new adventure in the big city. Having been raised in a farm town, she always knew she was meant to work with animals. After graduating from Seneca College’s Veterinary Technician program in 2017, she promptly acquired her status as an RVT that summer. She has a special interest in emergency medicine, cytology, and dental care. When not at the clinic, Jamie can likely be found cuddling her tiny alien (aka Yorkshire terrier) Susan, taking care of her obnoxious amount of house plants, or trying to find her new favourite comfort food spot.
Hayley (Lead VA)
Hayley graduated from McMaster University with an Honours Bachelors of Communication Studies in June of 2017. She joined Queen West Animal Hospital in November of 2017. Hayley has always been delighted by the mere presence of both wild and domestic animals. While studying in Hamilton, she worked at a small animal hospital in Stoney Creek where she further developed an interest in pursuing a career within the veterinary field. She enjoys all things caffeinated, academic writing, historical literature, and 90s rock. In her personal time, she can be found at the dog park with her lively Rottie-Shepherd, Winnie.
Our Take: Hmmm, Hayley is mysterious and hard to write about so we had a surveillance drone follow her the last few weeks and collect the following data: her hobbies include reading highly intellectual books (boring), going to coffee shops to read highly intellectual books (also boring), working seven jobs (super boring, except for ours, obviously), people watching and hanging out with her family (yikes). Hayley is apparently an avid collector of the weird and wonderful. Her bedroom is adorned with arrays of dead bugs, discarded hair scrunchies, every shoelace from every shoe she’s ever worn and newspaper clippings of headlines that contain the word ‘smorgasbord’. Hayley runs the VA aspect of the hospital with an iron fist and thankfully puts up with none of Leon’s cheekiness. Unusually paranoid, Hayley can often be found lurking around corners listening in on conversations she assumes are about her. Anyway, as per the theme of Our Takes, none of that is true. Instead, Hayley is simply a highly intelligent, hard-working and indispensable part of our hospital. We hope she stays forever.
During high school, Leon started in the veterinary industry through a co-op program where he developed a strong interest in the field. After graduating, he immediately started working full-time at a small clinic in the GTA. He joined the QWAH team in November, 2017. During his free time, Leon can be found enjoying being outdoors photographing for events and taking pictures of anything that captures his eye. In recent months, he has sparked an interest and started attending dance class in beginner hip hop. At home he likes to lounge back and play video games with his cat Cosmo, who also loves to relax on the couch.
Our Take: Leon is an in-your-face loudmouth, toxic masculinity type that really gets on our nerves. Alas, nothing, of course, could be further from the truth… In fact weeks pass without any of us knowing he’s been there every day. Ghost-like, he’s one of those employees who silently goes about doing an incredible job and seems to always be wherever and whenever you need him. There isn’t a single negative about Leon, we all love him to death and dread the day when he might want something more in his life than being a VA at QWAH.
Angie (Lead Receptionist)
Angie’s compassion and love for animals started early in life, growing up with everything from chickens and rabbits to pigs and cows. Her favourite past time in those days was bringing home any animal that was seemingly “sick or abandoned”. Born and raised in Ontario, Angie decided to make a move to B.C., where she spent 20 years. It was there she began her adventure in the animal industry, volunteering at hobby farms and animal shelters, and eventually working at small and large animal clinics. She’s now back in Toronto with her brood, consisting of, two dogs (Tazz & Chai), Leroy the kitty, Charlie her little peanut of a daughter and her best friend, Jeff. When not working, Angie enjoys cycling around town, chasing her daughter and dogs through the park, reading a good book, and enjoying some down time with Jeff, friends and family.
Our Take: the rumour is that Angie can get upset at home, maybe even raise her voice a tiny bit. It seems hard to believe for us, as we’ve never seen even a glimpse of it. Being a receptionist at a busy hospital like Queen West is not easy, but Angie never loses her cool or makes one feel something’s impossible. She tackles tasks with aplomb; is always calm and collected, even when the world is spinning like a tornado. She’s the ideal lead receptionist, and we’re so much better off because of her.
Nadia lives in the neighbourhood with her family and after being a client and former volunteer of Queen West, she warmly welcomed the opportunity to join the reception team when the opportunity arose.
Our Take: Nadia wins the Lamest Description of Herself by a landslide. Overly self-deprecating and humble, she is one of those special people one rarely encounters. With a heart the size of a football, her incredibly loving and caring demeanour provides needed repose from the hustle and bustle of living in downtown Toronto. She’ll stop you in the hallway just to check in, and give a hug if needed, or snuggle a dog for no reason, other than she senses it’s necessary. The world needs more Nadias. We’re pretty lucky to have one of our own.
CURRENTLY ON MATERNITY LEAVE
Heather came to Queen West in search of a place where she could work around animals all day. After completing a degree in sociology and a certificate in restaurant management, she realized that she was better suited following what she was passionate about – and so far it’s been great! When Heather is not at the clinic you would most likely find her at a Jays game, a local patio, or shopping along Queen Street. She loves being active and enjoys exploring Toronto with her husband, James and black lab, Stella.
Our Take: Heather is a smiling, bubbly, happy, youthful winner. The kind of person who’s not yet had anything go wrong in her young life. AND, she’s likes Led Zeppelin, which no one saw coming. Within a few weeks of starting with us, she seemed like a pro. Though a barista in a past life, she’s oddly reluctant to make cappuccinos for us, which is a bit sad. That said, she’s an amazing person, and we’re so lucky to have her at Queen West.
Paisley found Queen West Animal Hospital in October 2017. After working with the City of Toronto for nine years, Paisley decided she wanted to try something new. She applied to Queen West Animal Hospital with a passion to help and love for animals. Paisley is a proud owner of Winter, a white domestic shorthair whom she rescued last winter. With her quirky personality, baby voices for puppies and kittens, fun nails and passion for learning, Paisley is excited to start a new chapter.
Nicole joined Queen West Animal Hospital in January, 2018. She studied Visual Arts and Fashion and worked in the dental field before looking for something she was truly passionate about, which is how she found QWAH! She’s always wanted to work with animals, and couldn’t be happier for the opportunity to do just that. She’s ecstatic about joining QWAH and excited for what the future holds. In her spare time, Nicole can be found painting, working on one of a thousand hobbies or spending time with her cat Pepper.
Our take: Though an admitted ‘crazy cat lady’, Nicole makes up for her physical lack of cats (she has one) by combining her growing interest in tattoos with her love of felines. At last count, Nicole had tattooed over six hundred cats all over herself. Siamese, Devon Rexes, Shorthairs, Longhairs, Norwegian Forest Cats, Maine Coons – you name it and she’s found dermal real estate on which to honour her love of cats. Anyway, it’s probably impossible to have six hundred cat tattoos but we’re pretty sure Pepper, at the very least, is represented. Nicole is a relatively new member of our front office group and we’re so fortunate she’s chosen Queen West!
Lauren (Animal Haus Manager)
Lauren has had a lifelong passion for animals – always finding a way to surround herself with any type of animal. She completed her co-op placement in high school at Queen West Animal Hospital nearly 10 years ago. She was happy to join the team again this past Christmas. Lauren has spent the past 6 years working in the animal care industry; at a dog daycare as well as owning a dog walking company. In her spare time, she enjoys taking her Greyhound Snoop to various parks and spending time with friends and family.
Chris (Animal Haus Manager)
After attending the University of Toronto for 4 years studying neuroscience, Chris realized his initial interests in medicine and research were not the career paths he wanted. This left him with a bit of a career conundrum – now what? Opting out of returning to school, Chris tried his hand at multiple fields, but nothing really stuck. Eventually, however, he found an opening at a boarding facility and had an epiphany; life is just better when surrounded by animals. Now, having joined QWAH, he hopes to keep learning more about the industry. When not at work, Chris loves to cook and experiment in the kitchen, as well as eat at new and interesting places.
As a graduated Animal Care Attendant, I’ve worked in many different fields in animal care from animal shelters to zoos but have always had the most fun in dog daycare. After working as an Animal Care Attendant in a dog daycare in Durham for the past 2 years, I was so excited to be able to continue my work with animals at QWAH upon moving to Toronto in 2018. When I’m not at work I’m usually at home spending time with my two cats Ralph and Beans, either working on a painting or watching movies.
Giuliana has had a passion for animals, dogs especially, for as long as she can remember. She completed her Bachelors at Ryerson University in Child and Youth Care. In the back of her mind though, she always knew her career would involve something that had to do with dogs. Giuliana spent two years working at a dog daycare, and was happy to start the New Year off with Animal Haus this past January. Giuliana is generally a homebody and enjoys spending her free time cuddling with her dog, Lady. When she isn’t at home you can usually find her hiking and spending time with friends and family.
Jacey grew up in the prairies and cannot remember a time she wasn’t surrounded by animals. She grew up in a very small town in northern Saskatchewan where all the strays were your friends. She later moved to a small city, but went back to save her best friend a few years later. Her name is Emily and she has been Jacey’s #1 dog for the last 11 years of her life. Jacey spent many summers living on her family farm: herding cattle, raising the rejected calves, and feeding the bunnies, chickens, dogs and abandoned barn kittens. She desired to be a vet for a long time and always felt connected to animals – believing they are often better than people. However, it was actually her passion for art that changed her career path and brought her to Toronto. She decided to leave the land of living skies to pursue her dream of acting. While that dream is still in the making, her other dream of being surrounded by animals is being fulfilled.
Steph is the newest addition to the Queen West team. Torn about which path to take out of high school, Stephanie decided to partake in an internship opportunity caring for and rescuing exotic wildlife in South Africa. Following her internship, Steph pursued a bachelor’s degree in sociology, but realized that working with animals was her true path. She is now planning on pursuing a veterinary technician diploma in September of 2020. When she’s not at Animal Haus cuddling with all your pups, Stephanie can be found at the park with her 11 year old cocker spaniel, Molly or in the yoga studio on weekends, working towards her registered yoga teacher certification.
Queen West Animal Hospital is located in the heart of the Queen West neighbourhood in downtown Toronto.
|Monday||8:00am – 7:00pm|
|Tuesday||8:00am – 8:00pm|
|Wednesday||8:00am – 7:00pm|
|Thursday||8:00am – 8:00pm|
|Friday||8:00am – 7:00pm|
|Saturday||8:00am – 4:00pm|
Queen West Animal Hospital is closed every other Wednesday from 1 to 3pm for continuing education. Because we love it.
We are closed in 2019 for the following holidays: Family Day (February 18), Good Friday (April 19), Victoria Day (May 20), Canada Day (July 1), Civic Day (August 5), Labour Day (September 2), Thanksgiving Day (October 14), at 2 PM on Christmas Eve (December 24) and New Year's Eve (December 31), Christmas Day (December 25), Boxing Day (December 26) and New Year's Day (January 1, 2020).