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City's two fenced-in, off-leash dog parks now open

Bristol Street and Peter Misersky Park open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week
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The Bristol Street Park fenced-in, leash-free dog park. Tony Saxon/GuelphToday file photo

The city's two fenced leash-free dog parks are now open.

The parks, the new one on Bristol Street and an updated one in Peter Misersky Park, will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, with rules in place to prevent community spread of COVID-19.

"Opening of the fenced dog parks follows construction at Bristol Street Park and updates at Peter Misersky Park — some of which are scheduled over the next few weeks and into the fall to improve the site for dog owners and nearby neighbours," said the city release.

Those mitigation efforts at Peter Misersky Park include installation of a soft-close latch to reduce noise, new signs with updated rules and hours of operation and security cameras to monitor the dog park’s use and help with enforcement. The cameras will be installed on site the week of August 24 and trees will be planted in the fall.

Coun. June Hofland has issued a notice of motion calling for the closing of the parks until at least later this fall due to COVID concerns. That notice of motion comes before council Aug. 24.

“We’re committed to ongoing monitoring of Bristol Street Park and Peter Misersky Park to ensure that rules are being followed,” says Luke Jefferson, manager of Open Space Planning with the City of Guelph. “We will track and document concerns from residents and use this as a tool to assess further mitigation efforts moving forward.”

Longer-term mitigation measures, such as moving the fence line at Peter Misersky Park, will not be considered until late fall 2020 to give staff time to evaluate if the short-term mitigation strategies have addressed concerns from nearby neighbours.

A report to council on options for locking the leash-free area after hours is expected by end of 2020. Staff will also report to council during the 2021 budget process to identify additional sites to consider for future leash-free areas, particularly non-residential ones.

Based on advice from Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health, the city has reopened fenced dog parks with rules to prevent community spread of COVID-19. Residents are reminded to:

  • Stay two metres (6.5 feet) from people they don’t live with

  • Wait for other users to enter or exit before approaching the gate

  • Wash their hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after contact with high-touch areas

Who to call with concerns:

Dog poop or concerns about an animal’s behaviour: Guelph Humane Society at 519-824-3091.

Dog on the loose or users not following the rules: City bylaw at 519-837-2529.

Park infrastructure: 519-837-5626 or email