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With an increasing population of dogs in cities, there is growing demand for municipalities to accommodate residents and their dogs in public places, and provide sustainable and safe off-leash opportunities.

Currently there are over forty (40) Dogs Off-Leash sites within the City of Edmonton. The City's initial dog off leash guidelines were created in the 1990’s, and over the years, most dog off leash areas have been created as a result of requests from community groups or citizens.

The “Dogs in Open Spaces Strategy” proposes a number of recommendations to help shape and update the City of Edmonton’s current planning, design and management practices regarding dog off leash areas. Public consultation will occur with changes to current parks or the planning of future parks.

Project Timeline

Project Lifecycle Concept

Timeframe Project Activity

Based off recommendations in the Dogs in Open Spaces Strategy, the City will implement a plan that will include an assessment of all current off leash sites.

The City will prioritize working in off leash areas and with community groups that have urgent or emergent needs.

 2016  In Spring 2016, the City began working on a pilot program focused on Lauderdale (Grand Trunk) Off Leash Area.

The pilot has made progress by:

  • Evaluating existing off leash site using the new guidelines provided with the Dogs in Open Spaces Strategy
  • Compiling research from past public consultation results and park plans
  • Identifying recommended enhancements based on the feedback from the public
  • Identifying operational and financial impacts of recommended enhancements
  • Researching funding strategies for enhancing existing off leash areas
  • Identifying potential financial impacts of enhancing the off leash area


Please note that evaluating other off leash areas will not be included as part of this pilot. All other existing off leash areas in Edmonton will be evaluated as part of the Dogs in Open Spaces Implementation plan that will be developed throughout 2016-2017. Other community groups and off leash ambassador groups will be engaged during that time.

March 2016 Dogs in Open Spaces Strategy was approved by the Community Services Committee on March 21.
June 2015 Public Consultation phase two completed - June 24 & 25.
May 2015 Public Consultation phase one completed - May 13 & 14.
Winter 2015 Background review of current practices completed.

Project Overview

The “Dogs in Open Spaces Strategy” identifies a number of recommendations and best practices that will be used to update the City of Edmonton’s current dog off leash guidelines and programs. Public engagement and consultation with City of Edmonton staff and other stakeholders played a prominent role in shaping the direction of this strategy.

Strategy Recommendations

  • Planning recommendations have been suggested including access and parking, site uses, types of off leash areas and funding
  • Design recommendations to consider include boundaries, amenities, environmental protection, winter considerations, waste management, vegetation and public health and safety
  • Management recommendations include best practices for general maintenance, education and communications, community stewardship, enforcement and monitoring
  • The City of Edmonton will consider those recommendations from the “Dogs in Open Spaces Strategy” when planning, designing and managing current and future off leash sites

For More Information

311 Contact Centre

Online Contact 311 Online

In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

TTY 780-944-5555

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