|Montreal was overrun by stray dogs in the 1920s|
Rabies was once a serious and widespread problem in Montreal which led authorities to round up 13,000 stray dogs and kill them by gas at the SPCA in 1926-27. That method was considered more humane than the old method of shooting them.
Undoubtedly many pets were accidentally killed as well because the officers were allowed to pick the dogs up off of front unfenced lawns. Dog owners were allowed to let their dogs off leashes but they had to be muzzled.
Montreal flirted with periods of mandatory dog quarantine, we had one in place until 1908 and a rabies epidemic banned Ontarians from bringing in unmuzzled hounds until 1910.
Rabies can kill, of course and if you get bit by a random animal you could face over a dozen painful injections. Something like 1,400 Quebecers get bitten by animals every year (at last according to 1970 stats)
Quebec's last rabies death was in 2001 when a little boy was bit by a bat at his cottage and prior to that it went back to 1985. But getting rabies was less rare in earlier years, for example, in 1958 four Montrealers got bit by a rabid dog.
Statistically, far fewer Montrealers than Torontonians own dogs (will post reference when I dig it up again) and that might have a little to do with the fact that Toronto has a law banning landlords from discriminating against dog owner apartment applicants.
Here landlords can reject applicants for having a dog and we have a high percentage of renters in this city, so that explains why many don't find it practical to have a hound.
On the other hand, Ontario has a pit bull ban, whereas do not. So when you see someone walking a dog, it's a proud statement that the person not only loves dogs, but that he is landed, ie: a property owner.
So with fewer dogs, Montrealers should by extension, be less vulnerable to dog bites and rabies.