City to study dogs running leash-free in parks

A Toronto city councillor is floating the idea of allowing people to let their dogs roam city parks — leash-free —from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m.

Dogs in Toronto parks

9 years ago
Duration 2:08
A Toronto politician wants to change the regulations and allow dogs to run free in parks at night,. 2:08

A Toronto city councillor is floating the idea of allowing dogs to run free in city parks.

Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong wants to allow people to let their dogs roam city parks — leash-free —from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m.

"A healthy dog, and a happy dog, is one that's able to run off-leash.  The off-leash arrangement doesn't work, There aren't enough of them in the city," he said. 

Tracy Heeley, a dog walker, supports the idea.

"The dog parks get really congested," she said. "there's not enough of them. So that would definitely free up some traffic in the dog parks." 

"I think it's a great idea because, you know, the families aren't at the park at that time," said Heeley.  "People tend to go after dinner with their kids." 

Not all dog owners think it's a good idea. 

"There's a lot of people walking in the parks, joggers early in the morning, and also people in the evening, they're not dog-friendly people and they wouldn't appreciate that," said Anne Greenfield.

Greg Feldman thinks kids could still play during the day but worries about untrained dogs running loose

"It depends on the owner," said Feldman "There are some people who aren't as responsible and you don't want your kids, or your family, too exposed to those situations." 

Minnan-Wong says the idea has worked in New York City and thinks it could work in Toronto too.

City staff will study the idea and report back by next summer.