Vic West adds a new off-leash location in Barnard Park

Council votes in favour of a new location for an off-leash dog park

Dogs and their owners can rejoice at the tail-wagging prospect of a new off-leash park.

Victoria city council, sitting as committee of the whole, has given initial approval to designating Barnard Park a “leash-optional” park, bordering Esquimalt at Barnard Avenue and Esquimalt Road, as a pilot project last week. The new park will be the fifth off-leash dog park in the area, joining Banfield, Victoria West, Songhees-Hillside, and Highrock Parks.

But Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe was adamant the park be designated “leash-optional,” not “off-leash.” She said the distinction is important because for her, having dogs off-leash is a privilege, not a right.

“Not every dog should be off-leash,” she said. “If you’re not a responsible owner, you shouldn’t have your dog off leash, even in a leash-optional area.”

By responsible, she means owners need to pick up after their dogs, train them to come when called and not jump up.

As for untrained puppies, she said the owner is still responsible for how they behave.

“If your puppy is not at that point, it goes to training and keeping a dog on leash until it’s able to do that,” she said. “Puppies are the cutest things, and who doesn’t love a puppy? But there are people who have allergies to dogs, people who have had bad experiences with dogs who don’t want dogs near them.

“I love dogs: I am a big dog lover, but I really believe in responsible ownership and being able to exercise your dog in a leash-optional area is a privilege, not a right.”

Coun. Geoff Young said although there are other off-leash parks close by, having an off-leash park in that area will benefit people with disabilities or who don’t have a car.

He also added whenever a new park is designated off-leash, it becomes heavily-used.

“It’s fairly clear we do want to have off-leash areas. People with dogs really value them. People will bring their dogs from far afield. We have seen that in other areas of the city,” Young said, adding not everyone will welcome on off-leash area to the park.

“We have to arrive at a balance for people who have dogs and want off-leash areas to be conveniently reached, and people who may not want a park with off-leash dogs: people who are fearful (of dogs), for example.”

The park is expected to be available for off-leash use Sept.1.

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

Just Posted

High speed internet coming to remote CRD areas

Ottawa to invest $34 million to build 3.5 million metres of subsea fibre optic cable in B.C.

Affordable housing organization seeks to build in Sooke

Habitat for Humanity hopes to build cluster of townhouses at 2008 Murray Road

Council re-tenders Murray Road staircase project

Project could be delayed months

Langford loses bid to host Amazon HQ2

Mayor hopes to attract more tech jobs to city

Whooping cough detected in Claremont student

15 Greater Victoria schools have been informed of a student with pertussis since September

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

Jury convicts spear-wielding Duncan man in 2015 Ladysmith RV park murder

Trever George Meers used a handmade spear to stab Rayna Johnson at the Campers Corners RV Park

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Facing reality of death, B.C. man learns real meaning of life

Even while preparing for the end, something inside Keven Drews won’t let him stop living

Most Read