British Columbia

Neighbourhood association calling for more dog parks in Saanich, B.C.

The Cadboro Bay Residents' Association is proposing that Saanich permit two temporary enclosed off-leash dog parks at Cadboro-Gyro park.

Summer time restrictions mean less places where pets are permitted to play

The Cadboro Bay Residents' Association is proposing that Saanich permit two temporary enclosed off-leash dog parks at Cadboro-Gyro park. (Shutterstock / Stanimir G.Stoev)

Limited space for dogs to play during the summer in the Capital Regional District has some Saanich residents pressuring their local council to fence off some land just for Fido.

From May until August, dogs are only permitted before 9 a.m. at Cadboro-Gyro Park and Cadboro Bay Beach. Off-leash  restrictions also come into effect in June that impact popular walking spots at Beaver Lake and nearby Thetis Lake as well.

The Cadboro Bay Residents' Association is trying to create a new spot in Saanich, where Spot can run freely and would like to see it done as soon as possible.

They are asking the municipality to permit two temporary, enclosed, off-leash dog parks in Cadboro-Gyro Park on a trial basis —one for small dogs and one for bigger ones.

'A perfect storm'

Eric Dahli, association president, said it is not only the summer restrictions, but the closure of Cedar Hill Corner in 2020, known to locals as the UVic Dog Park, that has also limited options for people with pets.

During the pandemic, the demand for dogs from shelters and breeders also spiked, meaning it is also possible there are more people with pets that need a place to go.

"A perfect storm," said Dahli.

Nearly 500 area residents who, as of Tuesday afternoon, had signed a petition asking for an enclosed dog park in Saanich would seem to agree.

Dahli says Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes has been receptive to the idea.

"The mayor has been very helpful," said Dahli, speaking Tuesday on CBC's On The Island. "I'm hoping that that this month we will see something come out of council and that we'll be able to move ahead."

The item is on the agenda at an upcoming Parks, Trails and Recreation Advisory Committee meeting scheduled for April 28.

Gregor Craigie spoke with Eric Dahli, president of the Cadoro Bay Residents' Association, about his proposal that Saanich permit two temporary enclosed off-leash dog parks at Cadboro-Gyro park. 8:20

With files from On The Island

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