Analysis: Are Toronto's parks going to the dogs?
Eastward, visually impaired Leslieville resident Melanie Lepp was ticketed by a Toronto bylaw officer for allowing her dog to run off-leash illegally in Greenwood Park. Lepp avoided the official off-leash area, as she had fallen on the uneven pea-gravel surface during a previous visit. Her dog’s paws were also cut by the small stones. She fought the ticket in provincial court, to raise awareness over the safety concerns, and was ultimately found guilty by a provincial court judge, but fined $0.These are just two examples of the lengths people will go to fight for their right to enjoy the city’s public green spaces, whether or not they have a dog.
In an email, he said they use social media to try to create a “dialogue that fosters more harmonious relations between dog and non-dog owners, to encourage dog owners to take better stewardship by picking up after their pets in public areas, and to further public awareness on by-laws that prohibits dogs from using the turf at Canoe Landing as a dog run and dog toilet and more.”Pieters' group also helps facilitate discussions and responds to questions on pet bylaws and etiquette. Code pointed to a recent survey by Toronto Dog Park Community that found 91 per cent of people would use their local off-leash dog parks more often if they were more appealing. The same survey also found dog owners prefer the off-leash areas at Cherry Beach and High Park, because they both have natural surfaces and room to hike. The dog park at Grange Park also got high marks because it has trees and a great community vibe. “(Most) dog parks don’t provide an experience people want. They have inaccessible pea gravel, no trees, and they’re getting smaller and harder to find,” said Code, who is also a member of the Lakeshore Dog Park Community. Fletcher agreed something must be done about the problematic pea-gravel surface at least one dog park. In April, she successfully put forward a motion to city council calling for an amendment to the 2019 parks, forestry and recreation capital budget, for the installation of accessible artificial turf at the Greenwood Park Dog Off-Leash Area. This decision came a week after Lepp’s April 9 court case. Despite her efforts to raise awareness and better the situation, Fletcher said off-leash areas in Toronto “need to be higher up on the food chain.” She also said the city needs to be more “community-focused” in its approach to them. https://www.toronto.com/news-story/9393456-analysis-are-toronto-s-parks-going-to-the-dogs-/?fbclid=iwar1wzwhijnmxm45_b75s4x1aaxpw7gk2dlgzwdffrew3dpxyjr_8j1nxpdk