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Planning, Property & Development

Off Leash Dog Areas Master Plan

The City of Winnipeg is developing an Off-Leash Dog Areas Master Plan to respond to growing interest and demand for off-leash dog areas in Winnipeg. The Master Plan will address the needs of all park users and will develop a vision and implementation strategy for off-leash dog areas throughout Winnipeg.

Engage

We want to hear from you!

Since the project’s last phase of public engagement, a draft of the Off-Leash Dog Areas Master Plan (OLAMP) has been developed. The documents tab contains a newsletter summarizing the work done to date and the draft OLAMP.

Decisions in the draft OLAMP were informed by the large amount of public feedback we received in late 2017. Thank you to the 2,120 people who completed the online survey and 250 people who contributed to the online mapping tool in late 2017. Participants now have an opportunity to see how their feedback was considered in a public engagement report and public engagement summary that are currently available under the documents tab.

An online survey is available to provide additional feedback regarding the draft OLAMP. The online survey will be collecting feedback until May 20, 2018. We are interested in hearing from dog owners, those who are not dog owners, those who frequent parks and recreational areas throughout the city, and anyone else interested in off-leash areas (OLAs). Please review the draft OLAMP and provide comments through the online survey.

The draft OLAMP outlines the City’s vision, goals, guiding values, and objectives for the future establishment of OLAs in Winnipeg, as well as policy and standards created for the development and design of OLAs that are safe, accessible, and sustainable.

Once feedback on the draft OLAMP has been considered, the final OLAMP will be developed. The final OLAMP is intended to be used by both the City and the public. The final OLAMP will act as a reference guide for the public to provide clear policy and processes that illustrate how Winnipeg’s OLAs are sited and established. The final OLAMP will also provide various City departments with guidance for the planning, design, management, and evaluation of current and future OLAs. 

For more information about the project, please contact:
Brittany Shewchuk, Public Engagement Lead
Phone: 204-943-3178
Email: Brittany.Shewchuk@wsp.com

If you would like to stay updated on City of Winnipeg public engagement events, follow the City on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for our public engagement newsletter.

Project Timeline

Timeline

Timeline

Background

The City of Winnipeg currently operates eleven off-leash dog areas (OLAs) within the City's Parks system, with an additional OLA currently under construction and another receiving modification. In recent years, use of OLAs has significantly increased, and as a result, a need has been identified to increase the number of OLAs available to citizens.

In 2012, a Guidelines for Off Leash Dog Parks in the City of Winnipeg report was developed. In 2014, the City’s Executive Policy Committee recommended further research be conducted into OLAs, supported by a comprehensive public engagement process.

The Off-Leash Dog Areas Master Plan (OLAMP) will build on the City's previously prepared Guidelines report, and incorporate additional research and recommendations informed by a comprehensive public engagement process.

The objectives of the OLAMP are to:

  • Engage with key stakeholders and the general public on the current challenges and opportunities for OLAs in Winnipeg.
  • Develop site selection criteria and metrics for determining how OLAs are selected.
  • Develop an implementation strategy for OLAs.
  • Identify gaps and problems to help form the basis for an off OLA policy.
  • Develop policies to address conflicts and maintenance issues.
  • Identify potential partnership and funding opportunities.

Documents

Document Name Date Type
Community Newsletter 05-03-2018 Newsletter
Draft Off-Leash Dog Areas Report 05-03-2018 Report
Public Engagement Summary 05-03-2018 Report
Public Engagement Report 05-03-2018 Report
Winnipeg Free Press Advertisement 05-03-2018 Advertisement
News release 05-03-2018 News release
Storyboards 03-11-2017 Storyboards
News release 03-11-2017 News release
Guidelines for Off-Leash Dog Parks in Winnipeg 2012-2013 Guidelines

Frequently Asked Questions

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Why is the City creating an Off-Leash Dog Areas Master Plan?

This plan is being developed to address increased use of off leash dog areas and to provide direction on site selection and implementation of both current and future off-leash areas in the city. The Off-Leash Dog Areas Master Plan responds to growing interest and demand for off-leash dog areas in Winnipeg. This plan will address the needs of all park users and will develop a vision and implementation strategy for off-leash dog areas throughout Winnipeg.

Date added: May 1, 2017

What is the goal of the Master Plan?

The objectives of the Master Plan are to:

  • Engage with key stakeholders and the general public on the current challenges and opportunities for off-leash dog areas in Winnipeg.
  • Develop site selection criteria and metrics for determining how off-leash dog areas are selected.
  • Develop an implementation strategy for off-leash dog areas.
  • Identify gaps and problems to help form the basis for an off-leash dog area policy.
  • Develop policies to address conflicts and maintenance issues.
  • Identify potential partnership and funding opportunities.

Date added: May 1, 2017

Why are we taking green space away from people and giving it to dogs instead?

In recent years, use of off-leash dog areas has significantly increased, and as a result, many of the City's off-leash areas experience overuse. It's estimated that off-leash dog areas may be one of the most popular activities in Winnipeg parks. Off-leash dog parks build stronger community ties by fostering social opportunities for dogs and people.

Date added: May 1, 2017

Will this plan create new off-leash dog areas in Winnipeg?

No, the intent of the Master Plan is to establish criteria and metrics for determining how potential sites are selected and to establish a comprehensive off- leash dog area policy that addresses their implementation, maintenance and the potential opportunities and constraints for shared use sites.

Date added: May 1, 2017

What areas will not be considered by the Master Plan?

In accordance with the City of Winnipeg Parks By-law No. 85/2009, areas with high vehicular, rail or pedestrian traffic or areas that interfere with children's play areas, school grounds, athletic fields, picnic areas or public gardens will not be considered as suitable locations in the plan.

Date added: May 1, 2017

I don't own a dog but I use park spaces in Winnipeg – will I be able to contribute feedback and input as part of the Master Plan's public engagement process?

Yes, we want to gather feedback from a wide variety of park users, including dog owners and those without dogs. As many of the City's off-leash dog areas are located in existing park spaces, the Master Plan will address the shared use of park space in Winnipeg for dog owners and those who use the City's park space for other recreational activities. It is important that input from all users of park spaces in the city be gathered for the purposes of developing this Master Plan.

Date added: May 1, 2017

How does this relate to the Guidelines for Off Leash Dog Parks in the City of Winnipeg report?

The Off Leash Dog Area Master Plan will build and expand upon the already established guidelines and recommendations found within the Guidelines for Off Leash Dog Parks in the City of Winnipeg report.

On May 21, 2014 the Executive Policy Committee recommended the Winnipeg Public Service be directed to conduct further research on the matter, and on July 16, 2014 the Executive Policy Committee concurred with the recommendations of the Winnipeg Public Service that a consultant be hired to create a Dog Park Master Plan.

Date added: May 1, 2017

Why does the City provide off leash dog parks?

Off-leash dog areas in Winnipeg are sponsored by the City's Parks and Open Space Division and the Animal Services Agency to provide a safe environment for dog owners to let their pets to socialize and exercise off-leash.

Date added: May 1, 2017

What policies and by-laws currently exist for off-leash dog areas in Winnipeg?

Off- leash areas are established and regulated through the City of Winnipeg Responsible Pet Ownership By-law No. 92/2013. The by-law establishes a set of rules for off-leash dog areas which are posted at each site.

The City has also developed a Code of Ethics for dog owners in an off-leash dog area.

Date added: May 1, 2017

Will the Master Plan change the rules that govern off-leash dog areas?

It is not the intent of the Master Plan to adjust the rules established in the City of Winnipeg Responsible Pet Ownership By-law No. 92/2013, however recommendations identified through the Public Engagement Process to change the by-law may be considered.

Date added: May 1, 2017

Can the Master Plan change the rules that govern off-leash dog areas?

No, as a planning and policy document, the Master Plan does not have the statutory power to change the provisions of the City of Winnipeg Responsible Pet Ownership By-law No. 92/2013.

Date added: May 1, 2017

How are off-leash dog areas maintained?

Maintenance of Off-Leash Areas is conducted by the Parks and Open Space Division and is dependent on seasonal weather conditions, use and location. Grass cutting happens in the range of every 12-14 days to every 60 days. Garbage is removed from trash receptacles in the range of twice a week to once a month. In addition, the City of Winnipeg Responsible Pet Ownership By-law No. 92/2013 outlines that it is the responsibility of the dog owner to pick up after their pet.

Date added: May 1, 2017

How are off-leash dog area rules enforced?

The City has a series of Rules for Off- Leash Dog Areas, which are outlined in the City of Winnipeg Responsible Pet Ownership By-law No. 92/2013. These rules are as follows:

  • Dog owners must be present and within view of their dogs at all times.
  • Aggressive dogs are not allowed in off leash areas.
  • Dogs must be under voice control while off leash.
  • Dog owners must have a leash in hand at all times.
  • Female dogs in heat are not allowed in off leash areas.
  • Holes dug by dogs must be filled by the dog owner.
  • All feces must be picked up by the dog owner and removed or deposited in waste receptacles.
  • All dogs must be licensed in accordance with the City of Winnipeg Responsible Pet Ownership By-law No. 92/2013.

The Rules for Off- Leash Areas outlined in the City of Winnipeg Responsible Pet Ownership By-law No. 92/2013 are enforced by delegated City enforcement officers, who have the authority to issue by-law violations with monetary fines. Minimum fines are also outlined in By-law 92/2013.

In addition, several community groups and advocacy organizations exist within Winnipeg which promote responsible pet ownership and act as stewards for many off-leash dog areas through the City's Adopt-A-Park program.

Date added: May 1, 2017

How are off-leash dog areas funded?

Off-leash dog areas are managed (and operated) by the City's Parks and Open Spaces Division in cooperation with the Animal Services Agency.

Date added: May 1, 2017

How can I stay involved in the project?

Look at the "Engage" tab on this website to participate in an online survey or attend an open house event to share your thoughts.

You can also follow the City on Facebook and Twitter to receive updates on upcoming public engagement activites, or sign up for our public engagement newsletter.

Learn more about the City's current off-leash dog areas.

Date added: May 1, 2017

Maps

Timeline

Map

Last update: May 7, 2018