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For dog owners, new park is all about location, location, location

Second off-leash dog park to cut down on commute for dogs, allow marking of territory on own turf

The City of North Bay, in conjunction with the North Bay and District Humane Society, will be seeking public feedback to determine if either of two locations identified as suitable for development for an off-leash dog park would gain public favour. The date for the public meeting has yet to be determined.

The two proposed locations are the Laurentian Playground (off Carruthers Street) and the second off Sage Road near Trout Lake.

For maps of the potential dog park locations, see our PHOTO GALLERY above.

This one really is a no-brainer for the City. When the first off-leash dog park was constructed in 2014, the Humane Society covered the associated costs, and Bruman Construction donated the equipment and labour to clear the site. 

According to the Humane Society, the original dog park has been a success, and the demands are being heard for a second park to be built.

In November 2014, Humane Society Executive Director Daryl Vaillancourt (who also serves as a City Councillor) said: "We have every intention of opening up two more. There's a lot of talk about having a dog park in the north end of the city and over in the west end, but this was a good place to start."

The City entered into a generous lease agreement with the Humane Society to grant the use of the land, located in what was once a wooded area adjacent to the southern part of Champlain Park, at the end of Premier Road. Coun. Mike Anthony said Monday that the lease can be broken if the City deems the land to be needed for other purposes.
City Council approved a City staff recommendation at Tuesday's Council meeting that a public meeting is held to consult on which of two (if any) locations would be most desirable to the citizens.

Both sites could accommodate a one-acre dog park plus the necessary parking. Items to be addressed at the public meeting include, according to the staff report include:

  • The appropriateness of the locations
  • Site development, including the need for parking lot creation
  • Size and configuration of the dog park

The report also states that: "The discussion and response from the public will help to determine if any of the locations are appropriate for a new off-leash dog park. Once the community consultation occurs, further negotiation will be required with the Humane Society. Staff will report back to Council on the preferred location and next steps."

Said Coun. Mike Anthony at Tuesday's meeting, "I am excited, I'm pleased to see this taking another step forward. We have another real opportunity here. 

"If the public consultation goes well for the two potential locations, and we are to proceed, I believe we could see another strong, well-run, community-based, campaign where the Humane Society handles ongoing operation, the community can help out through sponsorships to get things going. 

"So, basically, it's at little to no cost to the City, other than donating land. It's a win, win, win for everybody."

Having at least one dog park at each end of the city seems to make sense, but not every member of the public is a dog lover. These proposed sites are much closer to developed residential areas than Champlain Park. It will be interesting to see if the NIMBY (Not-in-my-backyard) stance that has stopped development in North Bay in its tracks before, is a factor.

What do you think? Which option suits you best? Or is one dog park enough? 

Have your say in our comments section below.


Stu Campaigne

About the Author: Stu Campaigne

Stu Campaigne is a Canadore College graduate and intrepid journalist in the digital age. A media man for all seasons. Proud Dad of two. Referee. Coach. You can follow @StuCampaigne on Twitter
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