The local daily reports that Warren Park's leash-free status is gone by the end of the year.
City council decided to revoke the Dundas park's designation as a leash-free park and instead convert a developing area north of Governor's Road into a leash-free zone.The opposing sides in this tug-of-war over the use of the park for free-running dogs has not always been polite.
The park near Tally Ho Drive, which is on-leash during the summer, will cease to be a leash-free area in about four months once its replacement, Delottinville Park, is ready, said the city's director of environmental services, Craig Murdoch.
To me, it has always made sense to have this park protected since it is in an Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) with hiking trails linked to the Dundas Valley Conservation Area where dogs are to be on-leash.
As city staff reported, "Through the action of the dogs, the park is in a degraded state and the natural environment has been impaired."
It also makes sense to me to have leash-free parks with fences to segregate the dogs from the rest of park users who may not be comfortable with unknown dogs of all sizes approaching them at any speed.
I also suspect that there will always be a minority of dog-owners who ignore the rules, and operate on the assumption that their dog would never cause a problem. However, as any dog behaviourist will tell you, there are no guarantees and any dog is capable of causing harm.
But I also suspect that most dog-owners will respect the new by-law and work to ensure proper amenities for their pets.Hikers in the area will be more secure in their walks knowing that they will not be accosted by dogs whose owners are not in proximity to control them.
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Two other parks in Dundas (Chegwin and Littlejohn) are up for review, neither of which has fencing, and one (Chegwin) next to a creek that feeds into Spencer Creek, and a paved trail linking to the Spencer Creek Trail and to Governor's Road, so a review seems to be in order.