A "Fear-free" Philosophy
We provide highly individual and personalized care for clients and patients. We have longer appointment times and include the entire staff for developing client relationships. While medicine is the cornerstone of our practice, our mission is to deliver a one of a kind experience that will create a warm and lasting impression on pet and pet-parent alike. Each patient is treated in a calm and gentle manner, always with lots of treats and pats provided. We also know your time is valuable so we utilize convenient services such as online appointment booking, email communication, and patient drop-off services. We encourage you to browse this website to see all that we can offer. Thank your for visiting!
Islington Village Animal Hospital is a full service animal clinic that allows your beloved pet to receive complete veterinary care under one roof. Whether it’s a routine check-up, or urgent medical care, our Toronto animal hospital offers a comprehensive range of services to treat many breeds of animals. For every day care, such as vaccinations, routine examinations, and teeth cleaning, our veterinarian, Dr. Spence, and her veterinary assistants are ready to treat your animal companions on-site. In the event that your pet needs more intensive or emergency care, Dr. Spence is also trained in veterinary x-rays, surgery, diagnosing and treating a variety of medical problems.
Over the years, Dr. Spence has assembled a quality team of highly trained, compassionate veterinary professionals that work hard to meet the needs of all of our valued clients and their beloved animal companions. While we mainly serve the needs of dogs and cats, we also occasionally provide non-specialized services for smaller mammals, such as rabbits and rodents. New patients are always welcome at Islington Village Animal Hospital. We hope to see you and your pet in our office very soon!
Dr. Erin Spence
From a very early age I felt a special bond with animals, and I wanted to be a veterinarian since I was 5 years old. When I was a child I was only allowed to have very small pets of my own such as hamsters and goldfish. So I took every opportunity to look after other people’s pets, either through pet sitting or volunteering.
I attended the University of Guelph for a Bachelor of Science in 1994, and then I got into the Ontario Veterinary College in 1998. My first job out of vet school was in Oakville, shortly after which I moved to Toronto to work in a different small animal practice in North York. I was there until 2010 when I decided to open my own practice. I have had a lifelong fascination for medicine and science, and I also enjoy working with people and forging relationships. I love always learning new things, and with this job it happens all the time. I wanted to make a living in a career that challenges and inspires me, and now actually being a vet allows me to do that every day.
I have always felt driven to help animals, to provide them with comfort and safety. Not only that, I love helping owners understand their pets better and guiding them on giving the best care possible. I thoroughly enjoy developing a relationship with my clients. I love getting to know them beyond their pets as with each visit I get to learn more about their families, their jobs, and their lives.
Currently my husband and I live and thrive in Etobicoke, and what we love to do most is play golf. I have a high energy border collie mix named Alex that keeps me out running and walking. Some day I would love to have a country property where I can have multiple pets around. I enjoy physical fitness and outdoor activities such as cycling. My dream is to travel more and soon I hope to get to Europe. I am a member of the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, the Village of Islington Business Association, and an avid supporter of the Etobicoke Humane Society.
Dr. Johanna Hume
Given that my first word was “Zack”, the name of our family dog, I seemed destined for a career working with animals. Born in British Columbia, I moved to Ontario at the age of 7 and grew up in Toronto’s east end. I did an undergraduate degree at McGill University with a double major in biology and geology, and completed a master’s degree at Queen’s University in reproductive endocrinology. During my studies I volunteered at several animal shelters and veterinary clinics, and as a master’s student I worked closely with the university veterinarian. It was through these experiences that I realized that veterinary medicine was the career path I wanted to follow.
While studying at the Ontario Veterinary College, I spent time in Africa working with the local veterinarians, I did an externship at the San Diego Zoo, and I did rotations in my final year in both large and small animal medicine. It was small animal medicine, however, that afforded the greatest opportunity to forge strong and rewarding relationships with both animals and people over the long term. I never had any intention of doing a specialization because I love the variety that general practice has to offer, though I’m particularly fond of internal medicine and soft tissue surgery. I graduated in 2009, and there’s still nothing I’d rather be doing with my life.
In my spare time I love cycling, reading, board games, playing the piano, and spending time with my family. I currently live in southern Etobicoke with my husband Alex, my daughter Natalie, my son Oscar, and my three amazing kitties, Rufus, Ayla and Lemon.
Dr. Garrett Schuilenberg
From my childhood obsession with collecting stuffed animals to my parents prying my face off the Toronto Zoo’s tiger exhibit window during our annual visits, I somehow always knew that I would end up working with animals. After dipping my feet into a number of different career choices such as architecture and ecology, I found myself reminded of my love for animals and ended up volunteering at a small animal veterinary clinic in my hometown. Ever since then I have been in love with the idea of providing care for our furry family members and am so excited that I finally get to practice what I love!
As a representative of small town life in Paris, Ontario, I attended McMaster University in Hamilton where I received a degree in Biology. After a number of twists and turns I found myself standing at the foot of the famous front steps of the Ontario Veterinary College – something I had only ever dreamed about. During my time at OVC, I was fortunate enough to have travelled as a student to a number of distant countries, practicing wildlife and small animal medicine in Uganda, Cambodia, and Thailand. In my final year, I relived an old experience at the Toronto Zoo, except this time from behind the scenes during a rotation with the incredible veterinarians there. Leading up to my graduation in 2019, I was drawn back to small animal medicine because of my adoration for the bonds created between pets and their families and my passion for helping to strengthen them.
I immediately felt part of a bigger family when I first visited Islington Village Animal Hospital, and knew this was the place for me. The staff are honest, intelligent, and incredibly caring and my personal values fit right in line with theirs. I’m so excited to begin my journey here!
In my spare time I enjoy discovering new foods (the spicier, the better), travelling, adventuring in the great outdoors, ice hockey, and lounging with my kitty named Hugo.
Dr. Christine Nawas
Helping animals and people has been very important to me from a very early age. My parents tell stories of me having a special connection with creatures of all kinds and telling them that I wanted to be a veterinarian from the age of 3 years old. My small school in the town of Queensville Ontario was situated right beside the local veterinarian, and from my 6th grade year onward I started volunteering my time at the clinic, soaking in everything that being a veterinarian was all about. I have never looked back!
I graduated from the University of Guelph in 2006 with an Honors Bachelor of Science majoring in Animal Biology. From there my studies took me to the Ontario Veterinary College to complete my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree with Honors. I began my journey as a small animal Veterinarian in 2010 in Mississauga and had the opportunity to practice in Brampton as well. My husband and I moved to Etobicoke with our beautiful cat, Celest, and I made the decision that it was important to me to practice medicine in the community where I lived. When the opportunity arose to join the phenomenal team at Islington Village Animal Hospital, I jumped on it!
Being a Veterinarian is a wonderful privilege. The most rewarding part for me is forging lasting relationships with my clients and their pets, and building wellness plans around each individual animal to keep them as safe and healthy as possible. I truly value the time I get to spend with my geriatric patients, striving to make their “golden years" the best and most comfortable they can be, and being there for pets and their families. From the introduction of a new puppy or kitten to the day we have to say a loving and tearful goodbye, I am grateful that I am able to be a part of it all.
In my free time I enjoy attending Yoga and Meditation classes at the local Goodlife Fitness, playing video games (Super Mario especially), spending lots of time with my family and friends, and traveling whenever I have the opportunity. I love meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, and exploring this big beautiful world!
I look forward to meeting all of the amazing clients and pets who put their trust in the IVAH team. I can't express how excited I am to be continuing my journey as a Veterinarian with this wonderful group of like-minded people dedicated to the wellness and health of both animals and their families.