Ninja

Ninja is going to have to find a new place to play because Halifax Regional Council voted to decommission the off-leash park at Africville Park. (Stephanie VanKampen/CBC)

Dog owners who use the off-leash area in Africville Park are going to have to start looking for a new place to take their pets.

Halifax regional council decided Tuesday to decommission the off-leash dog area at Africville Park.

The decommissioning was requested by the Africville Heritage Trust, which hoped to have the dogs out in time for the community's annual reunion.

According to the Africville Genealogy Society's website, the reunion is held every year during the last week of July.

During Tuesday's debate, the councillor for Middle/Upper Sackville - Beaver Bank - Lucasville said he was not opposed to the decommissioning because of the history of the park, but did question the timing of the move.

"I do have some significant concerns about doing it at this particular time," said Brad Johns. "This is an outstanding issue that's come up year after year after year just prior to the family picnic and get together that happens there... This should have been dealt with."

Councillor Linda Mosher also questioned the timing.

"It's not this side against that side," said the councillor for Halifax West Armdale. "I think everybody agrees with the fundamental principles of the historic park, we just want to take a pause."

During the debate, some councillors argued removing the off-leash dog park right away was not only possible, but the right thing to do. Others felt dog owners deserved to have a replacement park in place before the decommissioning. The latter argument won out.

The Africville off-leash dog park will be eliminated as soon as the new one opens, which is expected to be sometime this year.

A petition on the website change.org to stop the decommissioning had gathered close to 1,100 signatures.