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May 25, 2007
City presents draft policy to guide provision of City’s off-leash areas for public comment
City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation will host a series of public consultations for residents to provide input on its “People, Dogs and Parks Strategy” and the draft policy that will govern the terms and operation of off-leash areas in City parks, greenspaces and waterfront areas.

“Our strategy and draft policy are the result of extensive work and unprecedented collaboration,” says Councillor Paula Fletcher, Chair, Parks and Environment Committee, City of Toronto. “City staff, residents, subject experts, professional dog-walkers, associations and community groups have all come to the table to create this comprehensive strategy that balances the diverse needs of our parks users and finds common ground within our parks system.”

The “People, Dogs and Parks Strategy” addresses areas of concern and key issues with off-leash areas within the City’s parks system and identifies solutions to these challenges. The draft policy will be the framework for discussion at the consultations. Members of the public will be asked for their input on the following aspects on the policy: location and criteria, application procedures for off-leash area permits, and monitoring and dispute resolution.

“City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation invites all Torontonians to provide feedback on our draft policy,” says Brenda Librecz, General Manager, Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation. “It’s through ongoing dialogue with residents that we can continue to strengthen and refine an off-leash policy that will lead to an enhanced parks system for the enjoyment of all residents.”

All public consultations will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.:

Monday, June 4: Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr.
Tuesday, June 5: Humberwood Community Centre, 850 Humberwood Blvd.
Wednesday, June 6: Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St. W.
Thursday, June 7: North York Memorial Hall, 5110 Yonge St.

In addition to these consultations, professional dog-walkers are invited to attend a meeting to review the City’s draft Dog-Walker Permit Policy that pertains to the regulatory licensing of individuals who walk between four and six dogs at a time in City parks, greenspaces or waterfront areas. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 13 at Metro Hall, 55 John St.

Toronto residents who are unable to attend a consultation session can provide feedback by completing an online survey. For more information, to participate online and to review the “People, Dogs and Parks Strategy” and draft policy, visit

Following the public consultations, comments will be considered in the development of the final policy document which will be discussed at the City’s Parks and Environment Committee meeting on July 4, 2007.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contacts:
Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Media Hotline, 416-560-8726
Wynna Brown, General Manager’s Office, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, 416-397-4059



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