Location of Sudbury's third off-leash dog park approved for behind south end arena

A location for a south end off-leash dog park has finally been approved for Greater Sudbury. The city’s community services committee gave the green light to a parcel of land behind the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.

Fenced-in dog park to include two hectares of land behind municipal arena

Fido and Rover will have new territory to sniff out in the spring of 2020. The City of Greater Sudbury will create its third off-leash dog park on land behind Countryside Arena in the south end. (Shutterstock)

A third off-leash dog park will open next spring in Greater Sudbury, on the same property as the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.

For the past two years, the York Street K9 Club has been working with the city to try to find a suitable spot, but two previous proposals faced neighborhood opposition.

At Monday night's community services committee meeting, councillors approved the proposal to turn two hectares of land behind the arena into space for canines that can roam off of their leash.

York Street K9 club member Dan Skwarok was pleased with the results, even though it still needs city council approval.

Dan Skwarok is with the York Street K9 Club in Sudbury. That group has been trying to establish an off-leash dog park in Sudbury's south end for two years. (Angela Gemmill/CBC)

"Having this approved at committee level is certainly a big step considering all the proposals that we'd brought forth from when we first started this project in 2017," he said.

Swkwarok says he and other supporters have tried to address all the concerns and issues from those who opposed the project. The most frequent being the noise a dog park would create.

"They do bark. They're dogs," he said. 

"But for the most part the people who bring their dogs control their dogs, that includes scooping up any dog feces. We're pretty diligent in that."

"Give it a chance"

"A lot of people who may not like dogs think there's a lot of problems with them, but generally if you have a dog park and responsible people in the dog park, you're going to avoid a lot of the problems that they have concerns over," Skwarok said.

"We say to those people: give it a chance."

During the discussion, city councillor Deb McIntosh questioned where the fence would be around the park and how close it would be to residential neighbours.

"I don't think we want the fence along the road because dogs will bark whenever they see a car...dogs tend to bark when cars drive by," she said.

The proposed location of the off-leash dog park on property shared with the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex in Sudbury's south end.

Director of leisure services Jeff Pafford reassured her that the fence would be further back, to also allow natural vegetation to be preserved along the driveway entrance.

"To maximize the setback area away from those residents and to move the fence to the southwest as much as possible," Pafford said.

New space ready to sniff by Spring 2020

The south end dog park is slated to open next spring, joining existing leash-free spaces in Azilda and Minnow Lake. 

Skwarok expects with news of this news space in the sout hend it will spark interest by other pet owners to establish similar dog parks in their areas. 

"It will be a big drive in getting more dog parks in Sudbury."

About the Author

Angela Gemmill


Angela Gemmill is a CBC journalist who has covered news in Sudbury, Ont., for 14 years. Connect with her on Twitter @AngelaGemmill. Send story ideas to


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