Back on August 24th, we featured a blog post as to whether or not Liberty Village was in need of an official off-leash dog park or whether the 2 relatively close designated off-leash parks were sufficient.
What was particularly remarkable was the amount of feedback from passionate Liberty Village residents we received on the issue. We would like to share some of the feedback with you because this seems to becoming a contentious issue in Liberty Village.
There is no question that there are a lot of dog owners in Liberty Village. As a result of this, many such dog owners use the few green areas in the eastern part of Liberty Village to relieve and exercise their dogs. Sounds simple enough but this is where the tension stems from. These are not off-leash parks and letting a dog off its leash in any public area, aside from city designated off-leash parks, breaks city by-laws.
These by-laws do not seem to have much affect on people’s behaviours, in Liberty Village , or anywhere else for that matter. Most of the people we heard from who were vocal about their dislike for this “sense of entitlement”, as one reader put it, are the parents of children who regularly use the playground in Liberty Village Park.
We heard from parents who described the arduous task of walking through the grassy area on the way to the playground. The grass being described as a “mind-field of dog sh*t, being left by dog-owners clearly too lazy to pick up after their pets”.
We also heard from parents of young children who have expressed concern about” having to worry about off-leash dogs wandering around the playground”. One concerned mother told us that “the dogs often chase each other near the kids while the dog-owners chat amongst each other oblivious to what their dogs are doing”. Clearly that becomes a safety issue. Should the dogs be allowed off-leash in the children’s playground? Probably not. Should dog-owners pick up after their dogs? Definitely.
Most people we heard from were very clear in their opinions that dog owners have two off-leash options near-by: the Stanley Park off-leash area, between King and Wellington and the Joe Shuster off-leash parkette across from the Kings Towns. north of King.
There is no question that this is a heated topic and one that is unlikely to go away any time soon. It is very likely that many more dog-owners will be moving into Liberty Village soon, as the new condos are completed and occupied. City by-law officers have been asked to step-up patrols and dog owners have been asked to be more responsible.
We even heard from a Bliss condo resident who complained about having to step over dog poop in their condo courtyard on numerous occasions. “There’s simply no excuse for that kind of laziness as a pet owner”.
Our goal is to see pet owners and non-pet owners living harmoniously in the same spaces. Let courtesy and respect prevail.