Dogs will soon run free in an area of Colonel Samuel Smith Park. City parks staff were expected this week to install off-leash signage in the 0.6-hectare run of open field to the east of the RL Clark Water Treatment Plant.
Once the signs are in, the off-leash park is officially open.
Dog owners Joanne Tobler and Maria Doyle proposed the off-leash area last summer to city parks officials.
has been too cold. My dogs won't wear their boots," Tobler said, as she
explained she had not been recently to the leash-free area of Sam Smith
Park where she often walks her four dogs - a pug, pug-Shih Tzu cross, a
Jack Russell-Corgi cross and a black Lab.
Last week, city council approved 29 new off-leash dog parks. The dog parks join the city's 33 existing off-leash parks.
review of dog parks comes more than two years after council adopted the
People, Dogs and Parks Off-leash Policy to deal with the growing
conflict between dog owners and other park users.
At a public
consultation meeting in December, approximately 65 people, most dog
owners, overwhelmingly supported south Etobicoke's two proposed
off-leash parks - in Sam Smith Park, and a second 0.7-hectare area on
the southwest arm of Humber Bay Park West.
It was the largest
turnout ever for a leash-free area proposal suitability assessed by the
city, said Carol Cormier, city manager of parks, standards and
Fencing emerged as dog owners' primary concern with both off-leash parks.
Currently, a fence exists at the water plant site, Cormier said.
staff will review the off-leash park's fencing situation in spring to
determine whether additional fencing is required, Cormier said.
The Humber Bay Park West off-leash park is set to open in spring.
issue in that dog park is a fence. Toronto and Region Conservation
Authority wants it fenced, citing the danger of strong lake currents in
the area. Dog owners largely don't want a fence.
Etobicoke's only other off-leash park remains open, but is threatened.
dog park in Don Russell Memorial Park is a proposed site for the
installation of an $800,000 FIFA artificial turf soccer field donated
by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment to adjacent Lakeshore Collegiate.
and garbage cans will be installed in both dog parks. City bylaw
enforcement officers will regularly monitor both off-leash areas.
City policy prohibits pit bulls, female dogs in heat and non-neutered males from off-leash areas.
year, three applications for off-leash designation in Etobicoke were
denied, citing proximity to wetlands and conflicting existing park uses
at King's Mill Park (north of Bloor Street West), Michael Power Park
and Grand Avenue Park.