Toronto’s off-leash dog parks are back open

Dogs were being let off-leash in unsanctioned areas during two-month closure, John Tory says


More than 70 off-leash dog areas in Toronto have reopened after two months of closure due to COVID-19.

The areas are among the park amenities allowed to reopen under stage one of Ontario’s reopening plan, which starts today.

Dog owners will have to continue to follow physical distancing rules. Signage will be installed at the off-leash areas reminding people to stay two metres (six feet) apart – “or the length of three dogs,” as the city put it in a press release. The city added that enforcement officers will be monitoring parks around Toronto ” to ensure individuals and groups do not use closed park amenities and are practising physical distancing.”

Last week, Mayor John Tory told CP24 that an increased number of dogs have been set loose in non-off-leash areas ever since the designated dog parks were closed. “We should get those off-leash areas going… I want the dog owners to be able to use those parks,” Tory said.

Also included in the list of reopened businesses: Pet care services – including pet grooming and training – and regular veterinary appointments.

Other park amenities that are part of the province’s first phase of recovery will be announced in the coming days. However, public health officials confirmed today that outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment, fitness equipment, public swimming pools, splash pads and similar outdoor water facilities will remain closed until further notice.

With files from Natalia Manzocco

@KevinRitchie

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