20 Jan Coronation Park Letter
Here’s my latest letter to Margaret Fitzpatrick, assistant to deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone. I cc’d Peter Leiss, parks supervisor.
Thanks for your response. After a little research, I’ve come to the conclusion that no dog walkers were represented at the Coronation Park meeting. As a former member of the Bickford Park Dog Owners Association (DOA), I can see how this could happen. Dog owners tend to meet in the evening. Dog walkers are out during the day. Unless there were postings, dog walkers would have no way of knowing that there was an association formed and a meeting they could attend. That being said, through our mandatory yearly licenses, the city has all of our contact info and has the ability to notify us of any park meetings. Unfortunately, this was not the case.
Yes there are two other off-leash parks in the neighbourhood, but from an urban dog walker perspective, neither of them offer the safety features that Coronation does. Stanley Park is open to busy King St. on one side and a swine slaughterhouse on the other. It also has restricted hours due to baseball games. There’s no question that bringing 6 dogs there is less than ideal. Trinity Bellwoods is a busy scene with joggers, bikers, rollerbladers, kids, and now tobogganers. It is an excellent park but only for the most reliable dogs because it has no fencing. Certainly dogs with a high prey drive (the natural instinct to chase fast moving objects), would do better in a fully enclosed environment. In order to provide a professional service to our clients, as well as respect the general public/other park users, we must ensure that our dog walks are safe and incident free. With our yearly $200 licenses and the nature of our business, if anyone should have access to fully enclosed off-leash areas like Coronation, it should be dog walkers. Can you please shed some light on the concerns of the DOA and where this opposition is stemming from. For me and my fellow dog walkers, this seems to be a completely unreasonable limitation.
Thank you for looking into this matter,