Downtown Winnipeg dog park options explored at open house
City of Winnipeg hosted open house as it looks at possible locations
Winnipeggers were invited to an open house on Wednesday to look at possible locations for a downtown off-leash dog park, which officials hope to have up and running by this fall.
The City of Winnipeg has budgeted $300,000 for the park, which would serve as a meeting place for the general public as well as for dogs and their owners.
Officials are looking at seven potential locations from Waterfront Drive to Notre Dame Avenue south to Assiniboine Avenue.
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The open house was held after about 1,800 people filled out an online survey in January — an overwhelming response, said Jason Bell, the city's superintendent of Centralized Park Services.
Bell said 83 per cent of dog owners who responded to the survey said they're in favour of a downtown park, and so are 69 per cent of respondents who don't even have a dog.
"I think people are just so interested in this, and it's not just dog owners," he said.
"I think it's people that are interested in civic beautification and the development of Winnipeg's downtown and the possibility of seeing anything built that's going to encourage people to live, move, enjoy, get to downtown Winnipeg."
Debbie Wall, who lives downtown, said she would take her dog to the off-leash park two to three times a day if it's established.
"It's a real bonding thing, and if you want people live downtown you got to have the dog parks," she said.
"I'm a single gal and my dog is also my security, so it just all fits into the whole getting more people to live downtown."
Plans for the downtown park would include a fence and plenty of lighting.