Information for Community Leagues to participate in the temporary dog park program.
The program evaluation has been completed. See the Evaluation section below to view the results and next steps.
Applications will open March 1, 2023.
Interested Community Leagues are able to apply to designate a temporary dog park within fully enclosed spaces on licenced land. This space is able to be used both as a public dog park and for private rentals.
The following conditions must be met:
Weatherproof signage must be present on-site with Bylaw and League contact information.
The temporary dog park must be physically accessible for all potential users including those using mobility devices.
The Community League should consider providing dog waste bags to ensure users are able to remove defecation.
Dogs must be on-leash outside of the temporary dog park and stay on designated trails/paths.
During days/ times designated for off-leash use, the dog park may not be used for any other recreation activity.
Once closed for the season, the temporary dog park must be cleaned to ensure it is ready for alternative use, at the League’s expense.
The Community League must have and maintain in good standing a Tripartite License Agreement with the City for the location.
The League must inform their insurance provider that off-leash use will be taking place within the dog park.
The League is responsible for monitoring use of the dog park, including adherence to public health measures. The League must check the dog park for dog waste, maintenance concerns and other issues at minimum once a week.
The League should consider regular sanitization of common contact points including entry gates and waste container lids.
If noise, waste or other complaints are reported for the space, Peace Officers/Animal Control Officers will review the location for suitability.
In December 2022, the pilot program underwent a full evaluation to gauge support for continuing the program and ensure that it was meeting the needs of all stakeholders including Community Leagues and the City of Edmonton.
All stakeholders that provided feedback on the program were supportive of transitioning the program out of a pilot and into an ongoing program. View the
What We Heard Report
for more information.
Based on the feedback from stakeholders, several modifications have been made to the program to better meet the needs of both Community Leagues and the City. These modifications include:
Removal of the restrictions on the types of spaces that can participate in the program, tennis courts, community rinks, spaces enclosed with temporary fencing and any other enclosed outdoor areas within the Community League’s licenced area are now able to be used.
Removal of the requirement for the space to be used exclusively for off-leash use. If a Community League would like to use the space part-time for other activities and part-time for off-leash, this is now at their discretion.
Removal of the May-September timeline for program participation. Community Leagues are now able to apply to use their spaces for off-leash use any time of the year.
If the City is already performing maintenance of an existing green space, then the City is able to continue to provide the base level services that they were already providing in that space, as long as there are no barriers to access with equipment being used, such as if the City is mowing the green space, then the temporary dog park must have gates wide enough to be able to accommodate equipment.
Base-level services include mowing, trimming, and garbage removal according to approved, budgeted service levels. Service levels can be found at edmonton.ca/parkcare.
If the temporary dog park requires maintenance at a higher frequency than the City’s regular maintenance cycles, then this would be the responsibility of the community group. For example, this could be increased mowing, trimming, weed pulling or snow removal.
Any permanent or temporary structures, or service requirements, that are specifically installed as part of the temporary dog park such as fencing, gates, signage, agility equipment, dog waste bag dispensers, etc would be the responsibility of the community group to maintain. This could include leveraging community group staff, volunteers, hiring a contractor, or leveraging recoverable services from the City.
Accessibility was a key topic of discussion during the evaluation of the program. To support Community Leagues in providing accessible spaces for off-leash use:
Educational resources will be created to provide an overview of key considerations in terms of the journey to the off-leash space, the off-leash space itself and potential long term improvements to improve accessibility.
Creation of an editable signage template that includes relevant Bylaws and information about responsible pet ownership.
City of Edmonton staff will be available to support accessibility even before applications are submitted. This could include meeting to conduct site accessibility evaluations, providing sources for purchase of infrastructure or providing educational materials around accessibility.
For 2023, temporary ramps will continue to be provided to all Leagues that require them, to help provide barrier-free access into off-leash areas. Temporary fencing to create a double gate system is no longer able to be provided by the City. The Dogs Off-Leash team will track this approach in 2023 before determining if this is a sustainable option to continue ongoing
The program has also been expanded to include a clear process for Leagues to be able to use outdoor spaces within their licenced areas for off-leash rentals such as for dog birthday parties or private training. This is a use that is already permitted under the Tripartite Agreement, similar to hall rentals. The expansion of the program to permit for this use will give Community Leagues an additional option for revenue as well as meeting a community need to have safe, enclosed off-leash spaces available for private rental.
Community rinks are owned and maintained by community leagues. Only community leagues are able to apply to participate in this program. If you’re interested in having your community league take part and are willing to help out, reach out to your local community league. A list of all community leagues and their contact information can be found here.
Approximately one out of every 3 households in Edmonton have a dog. In fact, there are now more dogs than children in Edmonton!
Many dog owners consider their dogs to be a part of the family and want to provide safe and fun opportunities for both their dogs and themselves to exercise and interact with other members of their community.
There are many benefits of having a community off-leash area:
Within the Off-Leash Area
Provide a place for both dogs and their owners to interact and connect with other members of their community. Themed parties, social media pages, and dog playdate groups have been formed by many off-leash area visitors to increase the sense of community within the space.
The presence of off-leash areas can help to deter crime and other undesirable activities. Dogs need to be exercised every day, regardless of the weather and even on the coldest days, dogs and their owners will visit off-leash areas.
In the Community
Most responsible dog owners would prefer to exercise their dogs in a safe place. Off-leash areas help to reduce instances of dogs being off-leash in parks, playgrounds, school yards, sports fields and sidewalks.
Dogs that are exercised appropriately usually show fewer undesirable behaviours while out on walks and at home. Off-leash areas can help to reduce unwanted behaviours such as barking and aggression towards other dogs or people.
The presence of dog owners within the off-leash area can be a deterrent for vandalism and other crime in the area.
Provide a place for dog owners in the community to form friendships. In many cases, these friendships extend beyond the off-leash area and help to build a sense of belonging and connectedness in the larger community.
Temporary off-leash areas must be physically accessible to all citizens. Using the double maintenance gates and then adding ramps for access into the space are some potential solutions to accessibility that could be considered.
The on-site contact person is the main point of contact between the Community League and the City of Edmonton.
This person would be responsible for monitoring the off-leash area, ensuring that dog waste and garbage does not accumulate, and participating in any discussions with the City of Edmonton around noise, waste or other concerns around the off-leash area.