City of Toronto has denied application for a leash-free dog park at Humber Valley Village Park
Thanks to everyone who voiced their concerns with this application!
Here is some background on this issue.
On behalf of the Humber Valley Village Residents’ Association, we would like to thank everyone who voiced their opposition to the proposed leash-free dog park at Humber Valley Village Park, right beside Humber Valley Village Junior Middle School.
Here is some background on this issue.
- A resident had made an application to have a leash-free dog park placed at Humber Valley Village Park.
- On Tuesday, September 20, the City of Toronto’s Parks Department and Ward 4 Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby hosted a public meeting to hear resident’s views about this application.
- Over the course of a very few busy days, many, many members of the community e-mailed the Councillor and the City of Toronto to voice their many concerns (including lack of public consultation, unanswered questions around placement and cost of the leash-free park, concern about the safety of school children, negative impact on the park’s use for fitness and recreational activities like tobogganing, lack of parking, etc.)
- On Tuesday, September 27, the General Manager of Parks communicated her decision. Here is the full transcript of her e-mail.
To Humber Valley Park Community:
Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff and Councillor Lindsay Luby would like to thank you for your input regarding the Humber Valley Park dogs off-leash area community process.
This email is in follow up to the public meeting held on September 20th, 2011. Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff have completed a review of comments and feedback received to date from the community regarding the proposal for a dogs off-leash area at Humber Valley Park.
As per the People, Dogs and Parks Off-Leash Policy approved by City Council in January 2010, this site (south of The Kingsway) has been deemed unsuitable due to the established features within the Park which include a toboggan hill, which is considered an off-leash area exclusion and, although not actively permitted through the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division, use of this area by the adjacent School for various recreational activities.
With respect to the area located on the north side of The Kingsway, this area has been deemed unsuitable as the proposed area would be in close proximity to residences and would include a shared fence line between the off-leash area and residences to the west. The existing tree canopy located within this area would not allow enough open space to accommodate an off-leash area to the eastern portion of this site.
Further suggestions made regarding the placement of the off-leash area near the tennis courts have also been reviewed. This review concluded that this area would not be appropriate due to the close proximity to the adjacent school yard which would involve a shared fence line and grade limitations making this area unsustainable as an off-leash area.
Staff have confirmed that Councillor Lindsay Luby is in agreement with the above. We are continuing to review options for a dogs off-leash area within Ward 4 and welcome any suggestions.
Parks Standards & Innovations
We support this decision. There is a place for leash-free dog parks but not so close to school property or on a public green space that is so widely used for a variety of fitness and wellness activities like cross-country, tobogganing, fitness camps, running, leash dog walking, etc.
We are very proud of our members of the association and the wider Humber Valley community who responded to quickly and vocally to share their concerns.
It reinforces the value and power of associations like ours in mobilizing the community and ensuring that our collective voice on important issues affecting our community is heard loudly and clearly by the decision-makers at City of Toronto and City Council.
We encourage everyone in this community to join the Humber Valley Village Residents’ Association. Subscribe to our e-newsletter to receive timely updates on issues and events. Join or support or association so we can keep you informed and ensure that your voice is heard.