“Maria Bell has always had a lifelong love and respect for dogs and has never been without one. Currently she includes a tiny chihuahua in her family. Growing up, she was inspired by the immense photographic talents of her father and brothers. Her mother, a fashion designer, was also an artistic inspiration.

Her career history includes Walt Disney Productions in New York City and Toronto, graphic illustration and photography”

Maria is a photographer and graphic illustrator who has lived in Oakville for over a quarter century. The Town has changed a great deal over that period of time and one of the changes Maria has noticed is the increased number of dog owners within the community. Maria has had a life-long love of dogs and truly enjoys seeing more of her favourite creatures out and about. Her love of the Town, the dogs of Oakville and her profession have been the inspiration for her book series, "The Dogs of Oakville".

The first book, Tails of Distinction, came about after five years working with Snap'd Magazine, creating the monthly feature "Dogs of Oakville" which brought photographs of people's canine pets to the pages of Snap'd Magazine. With the larger pet population, Maria could see a growing demand for relief to aid pets in need. Hoping to contribute and give back to the animals Maria so deeply respected, her vision was create a memento that would be valued by the community and stand as a testament to the character of Oakville's canine population. This was not a small effort and only the contributions of many people within the community made the project a success. Tails of Distinction was published in 2012 and featured interviews and photos of 183 members of Oakville's canine population. Sales resulted in a donation of $25,000 to the Oakville/Milton Humane Society. Well done Oakville.

Maria has since created 4 more books in the series and one dedicated to the cats of Oakville - New Beginnings, Big and Small, Then and Now and the latest edition - Champions

Maria Bell lives in Oakville with her husband Craig and an adorable Chihuahua named Lexington Avenue.