Does Sandy Hill need a fenced-in dog park?

“Winter schminter. Let’s go to the park!”
Illustration Phil Caron

Christine Aubry

Do you own a dog, walk a dog, or enjoy seeing dogs play together?

Dog owners in Sandy Hill certainly have access to a lot of green space for walking their pooches, both on-leash and off-leash, but there is no fenced-in area within walking distance.

Why does this matter?

Closed-off play spaces can provide a safer option for dogs and people, especially during a puppy’s training phase.

MacDonald Gardens Park on the north side of Rideau Street has an area designated as off-leash, but it is bordered by heavy traffic streets. Many dog owners have said they cannot let their dogs play there for fear they will run into the street.

Even off-leash parks that are not bordered by streets can be problematic. Robinson Park along the Rideau River is a wonderful large area for dogs to run, but it has a high-usage pedestrian and cycling path that runs through it, which unfortunately can lead to collisions and conflicts.

I have met many local dog owners who wished we had access to a fenced-in park, especially one with some lighting for our short winter days.

I have proposed to our city councillor, Mathieu Fleury, that we seem to have an ideal space: the small field between Dutchy’s Hole and the Dutchy’s parking lot. From my daily walks through this area, it seems to only be used by dogs anyway, and there is existing infrastructure to build on for lighting.

I would love to hear your views, whether you support this idea or have concerns. You can email me at Vous pouvez aussi communiquer avec moi en français!

Fun in the Macdonald-Cartier dog park, north of Rideau St.
Photo Christine Aubry