City is looking for some input on Leash-Free parts of the city.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

August 1st, 2019



The woof woofs need more room to run around.


Dogs off leash in Central Park - if you have an opinion - speak up

Dogs off leash in Central Park – if you have an opinion – speak up

The City of Burlington is looking for feedback on the City’s current Leash-Free Area Criteria.

Residents are encouraged to visit to review the criteria and provide the City with feedback and suggestions.

The City currently has three public Leash-Free Areas:

• Roly Bird Park (2203 Industrial St.)
• Norton Park (4275 Dundas St.)
• Bayview Park (1800 King Rd.)

With feedback from residents, staff will report back to City Council by the end of this year.


The current Council-approved criteria, described below, is used when the public expresses interest in requesting a new Leash-Free Area.

The survey is looking for resident feedback on the criteria along with any suggestions on the criteria that residents may have.

Current Criteria for Creating a Leash-Free Area

• Parks must be within City of Burlington boundaries
• Leash-Free Area must be at least 0.3 hectares (30 metres x 30 metres)
• All Leash-Free Parks must be enclosed with permanent fencing, which the City will provide as part of the budget process
• An assessment will be made to whether parking will be required at a proposed leash-free site, based on the size of the Leash-Free site, location and any disruption to park function.
• A significant barrier must exist between Leash-Free Areas and children’s playgrounds, splash pads, sports fields, waterfront, cemeteries and residential housing.
• Leash-Free Areas cannot be located beside schools or in the City’s waterfront parks
• Area must be accessible to the public for year-round use
“Leash-Free Areas are great amenities in our parks. They encourage play and socialization for all. We also know there are challenges when developing new Leash-Free Areas, and with the general operation of them.

The city asking you what you think – they want some help shaping the Leash-Free future.”

Ideas, opinions what works and what doesn’t work as well as what could work..  Is the current criteria the right criteria?

Speak up!


Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

7 comments to City is looking for some input on Leash-Free parts of the city.

  • Jim Ridley

    Is see irresponsible dog owners daily, who let their beloved dogs run free in areas that are not designated “leash free”. I have been barked at and chased by dogs while riding my bicycle, but if I take offence with their behaviour then I am often abused verbally.

    Why do dog owners get to ignore city by-laws without worry of reprisal. I’ve called the pound several times to report incidents and their attitude is “what are we supposed to do?”. Really, how about doing your job.

    I don’t know of another group of people that hold the law in such poor regard.

    • Hans Jacobs

      Agreed – I see the same thing daily and recently a dog knocked someone off a bicycle on a multi-use path. A by-law enforcement officer’s cost would be recovered by fines many times over easily. The city could be vulnerable to lawsuit if there were a serious injury and it was deemed that failure to enforce the by-law was a contributing factor.
      I’m not at all opposed to leash free areas, but outside of those areas the city must enforce its by-law.

  • Susan Cooley

    I agree with Maggie Steiss. It would be nice to have a. Lille of leash free parks closer to downtown so people would not have to drive. I don’t like it when people let their dogs off the leash in areas that are not leash free. Dogs aren’t safe off leash when not confined.

    • Elan

      Susan & Maggie, I think increasing the availability of leash-free parks for our Dogs is a great idea. To CHOOSE to live in downtown Burlington and expect there to be a leash-free option within walking distance maybe a bit unrealistic at this point, unless you have an idea for an area that might make sense, which would be great. I assume the City asking what we think and this provides a powerful opportunity for ideas. Just, let’s please don’t demur on providing ideas and complain the City isn’t doing enough to make us happy. That’s not fair.

  • Hans Jacobs

    Before adding leash free areas, perhaps the City could consider enforcement in areas that are not designated leash free, which is currently not done. It could be a good untapped source of revenue.

    • Elan

      So, Hans, what would this ‘enforcement’ look like? Officers in every public park in Burlington from 6 am to 9 pm to stand ready ticket dog-walkers who let their dogs off the leash? Yeah…probably a 10% increase in taxes to pay for this ‘enforcement’ to collect $xxxx (fill in your desired, not-nearly-enough Fine revenue). Better option, I think, is to offer our wonderful Dog-Walkers opportunities to find safe spaces through this program proposal. Getting resident’s dogs to these safe-havens may be an issue at the outset, but the proposal sets precedent and can evolve and is certainly worth the attempt and effort.

  • Maggie Steiss

    The problem with leash free parks is they are generally in locations where you have to drive to. Even if busing to the park was good, which in Burlington it is not, dogs are not allowed on the bus unless they are service dogs. How many people live in apartments with their dogs and don’t drive. Their poor dogs are subjected to never being able to run free. Growing up I lived near Kings Rd school as well several parks. It was normal for people to let their dogs off the leash to fetch a stick or Frisbee. My dog is currently having a holiday in the country with my daughter but even before she had a big back yard to run around in. She and I were lucky. Not every dog is.
    I realize there has to be some common sense attached to having dogs off the leash. If your dog is out of control or vicious then letting them loose is a bad idea. But if this is the case is letting such a dog loose in a dog park much better.