What’s holding up the dog park in Cornwall Ontario? Editorial by Jamie Gilcig – July 4, 2010

Cornwall ON – There’s a trend in politics of passing the buck, especially in some potentially dynamic issues.   Don’t want to ask for a raise?  Form a committee to come up with a solution.   Don’t want to tackle a tough issue?  Form a committee.

Well people in Cornwall love their dogs.  There are an awful lot of dogs in the area too, and there’s no shortage of parks or land in Cornwall.

However dogs are not allowed off leash or in parks.   Sure there are liability issues, but you’d think that as progressive a city management and council as we have there’d be a remedy to this?

A group was formed with the sole mandate of creating a dog park in Cornwall.   For some reason it was quite secretive and some have suggested cliquish.     Many sites were mentioned, some fundraising done, meetings with our MP, a presentation to council, etc, but we still don’t have a dog park.

Now in a recession and with a council focusing on keeping taxes down you don’t want to write cheques willy nilly, but surely there are some options that Cornwall could initiate and “Git er done”.

How about designating at least one park in Cornwall “Leash Friendly”?    Why should it be taking this long for such a simple project?     Hopefully during the upcoming municipal elections some of the candidates for council will come up with some solutions for the thousands of residents here in Cornwall that want a place to take their dogs; maybe even one near the 401 which could potentially attract the thousands of people that drive by our city without stopping and visiting?

Do you want a Dog Park in Cornwall, and if so how much extra per year would you be willing to spend in taxes per person? You can make up to two selections.

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  1. admin: and I quote “Now in a recession and with a council focusing on keeping taxes down you don’t want to write cheques willy nilly”, if they are that cheap in putting up a few dollars for a dog park, it comes to mind that they were not that cheap when they wanted to vote themselves a raise in pay. Come on City Council and get the lead out and let the people you represent have a dog park where we can enjoy watching our pets have fun together. My dog says “WOOF” (thats YES in dog language).

  2. If the City could donate a dollar from each dog license (3,400 in 2009), plus a donation from tourism board, buy some fencing, and put it up around, near or back of a government building lot. Dogs can move freely and you have free building security with local citizens!

    Throw a bar b q, car wash, whatever and make enough for a couple of garbage cans and benches. This is overly simple so it would never work in a government setting…..

  3. I’ve been reading a bit on here: http://www.cornwalldogpark.ca/
    I think a dog park could draw in a bit of tourism, and also attract some people to this city, and keep people in Cornwall as well. A dog park is another selling point to baby boomers who might consider retiring to Cornwall. We have some of the most affordable real estate in Eastern Ontario, and with improvements in quality of life, like a dog park for residents and their pets, it would show how Cornwall is a progressive, enjoyable, and friendly place to live in. I’d like more specific info, like how much the park will cost, and how much it will cost to maintain it, pay for insurance and maintance, etc… but in principle I support a dog park for Cornwall, and I would work hard to make a dog park a reality. I emailed the people who run the Cornwall Dog Park website requesting more information. I’m going to reseach this issue further. If the dog park is not passed by the end of the year, if elected, I will get to work on it for 2011. Thank you.

  4. You people won’t let me go out for a walk with my dad without a leash, even though I am smart enough to walk by his side. Why can’t you at least give us our dog park, where we can meet our friends. After all, we pay taxes too.


  5. If you’ve been watching council, you would know that this committee apparently does not even want tax dollars to run the park. They will fundraise everything themselves. Why the hold up? I don’t quite know…..

    I agree with Setnyk, the benefits of a dog park are numerous for both the residents of the city, as well as visitors, and potential residents. I take my dogs to numerous cities who have fantastic dog parks that are in constant use, as opposed to some of our parks which sit empty most of the time.

    It’s time Cornwall….WAKE UP!

  6. On Friday I was over in Hudson, QC at the “English Food Store” (I love kippers). Passing through a number of small villages (Hudson included) I saw dog parks everywhere. Now if a village can afford a dog park don’t tell me that Cornwall can’t!

  7. Author

    While it’s always good to not have to have anything increase the tax burden on a city, we are talking about a dog park. Like any recreational facility supported by a charity it takes cash on the barrel to pay for what’s needed, and I’m thinking that as earnest and well meaning as this group has been all that’s happening is a delay in creating the park.

    It should be a city initiative as it’s Cornwall and its citizens that benefit from a dog park in the end of the day. Just like the splash pads made sense I think so can a good dog park. It doesn’t have to be huge; it just has to be; but it will take conviction from the city and council to make it happen.

  8. July 1st Canada we took our Dalmation to Lameroux Park twice during the day as did many other dog owners. How come we are alowed in Lameroux Park on this one day of the year only. Wake up members of city council. Why pay a dog handler to rid the park of Canada Goose only to have them back half an hour after she leaves.

  9. It’s brilliant thinking by city council. They never thought that the presence of dogs might force the geese to relocate and they’d save a salary. Would we pay the dogs union wage?

  10. Having a dog park is a wonderful opportunity to socialize dogs with other dogs and is an amazing social opportunity for their owners. This also gives dog owners the opportunity to get themselves and their dogs some much needed exercise; freedom to run which is tough to do on the end of a leash. For goodness sake, allocate a piece of land for this use. There are more than enough interested parties to put in the volunteer hours to insure the property is kept clean, safe and inclusive to all.

  11. We already have a dog park, has anyone ever been down in the power dam area? I see many people there with their dogs. Both young and old

    Is there a reason why dog park enthusiasts cannot use that area?

  12. smee: There are several reasons it doesn’t work as a proper dog park: 1 – It has no fence around it, and speaking from experience, that can be a problem. 2 – It can be difficult to access for the seniors and disabled in our committee, especially in the winter. 3- It interferes with the bike path. 4 – It becomes extremely muddy in rainy times.

  13. Author

    I agree with Rodney. Cornwall needs a real honest to goodness dog park. If the current team can’t get it done for whatever reason hopefully someone at Council will lead the way.


  15. rodney
    I have been there many times myself. Well not as a senior yet, and it is already used primarily by seniors. As for the fence ask hydro to put up a fence. It would be a huge publicity promotion for them.

    It is in a perfect location. Not in the heart of a cement city hot and limited by the surroundings. It would also expand the city infrastructure to include that area.

    Where would you have them place the park?

  16. I would love to see it at the rarely, if ever, used Alexander Park (across from Canadian Tire)…I used to take my dogs to the Powerdam daily, and would have to disagree with you about the ratio of seniors using the “facility”. I would also have to argue about the location…I think a centralized location is key, mostly for accessbility reasons, but also for the safety of those using the park. I know many ladies who won’t use the Powerdam after dark, due to it’s isolation (and in the wintertime, it’s always dark).

    PS…I don’t look at it as Hydro’s responsibility to look after the well being of Cornwallites and their dogs. I think this is clearly falls on the City.

  17. re: dogpark…. We have Lamoureaux Park.. and there are many dogs with walkers. Rather than spending thousands to hire an out of down dog & walker to scare away the geese in the park… let’s
    repeal the bylaw decreeing that no dogs are allowed in Lamoureaux Park.. let citizens and their dogs
    walk (patrol) the park and all would be happy.
    Off leash park – not sure about that… ! ok if a limited expense.

  18. Rodney perhaps there is less older folks using the space. As of late I take my dog to Chrysler beach for a swim and a run, which contradicts my last post giving you the edge on that one. I do recall when visiting the dam many visitors were frustrated that people using the area were not cleaning their messes when they were done. A huge issue that would could be the reason for the reduction in attendance.

    True Rodney it is not the responsibility of Hydro to maintain the park. However it would be a good promo for them to show community spirit. If council had the ability to promote that idea it would be an amazing feat of co operation.

    Especially in light of the taxes they pay for prime land.

    Centralized is good but Alexandria Park has some less then stellar history due to the location in the city. I am not sure people would be any safer there in the dark then at the power dam.

    If a dog park is what it takes to stimulate growth west of Cornwall and community participation then we should begin with that. It could be a win win situation if done properly between Long Sault Township, Hydro and Cornwall City council.

    It could be somewhat of a different all for one approach to working in Eastern Ontario that removes the “It’s not my job” attitude.

  19. Sorry misspoke again..ahh .. the signs of approaching maturity *l*
    It should read,
    Hydro should not be expected maintain the park, but would be a huge asset with building the park

  20. Though the dog park at power daM IS BEAUTIFUL, IT IS VERY CLOSE TO THE BIKE PATH AND THERE IS ALWAYS THE CHANCE THAT THE BIKERS WILL GET CHASED,(HAS HAPPENED AND BEEN COMPLAINED ABOUT BEFORE) What is sad though is that in order to treat our furry friends proper and have good mannered canine friends they need exercise. Mnya who have kids have dogs and it isso unfortunate to have to leave yourdog at home when instead you could include them in your family outings. We live in Long Sault and take our dog everywhere, he has a wonderful life being with us and he is well behaved and most likely to be in our family for a long time.

  21. Well, I guess I will be the “downer” here. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for a dog park. It allows the dogs to exercise, play and socialize with people and other pets. HOWEVER, there are too many irresponsible dog owners. Some will attend the park with a bitch that is in heat because they don’t want to spend the money to spay her. I’m not talking about CKC registered breeding dogs, I’m taking about your neighbours Heinz 57 dog that they just don’t want to spend the money to spay. Some will attend with mature unneautered males who will start fights for dominance. Some will attend with young puppies that have not had any vaccines, older dogs as well for that matter. Will someone monitor who picks up after their dog when they potty?? Fecal matter spreads disease among dogs. Again, there are many responsible dog owners but there are many THAT ARE NOT! Who is going to ensure that there are rules and that the rules are followed? Just my opininon….

  22. I currently live in the Brockville area and I am at the dog park daily. Unlike the numerous “people” parks whick are empty most days, this dog park in NEVER empty. I have been considering moving to the Cornwall area; however, the lack of a proper dog park is a MAJOR concern for me. I am originally from the Cornwall area and I am extremely disappointed with the lack of forward thinking on the council. Cornwall is a beautiful city with a lot of potential but until this potential is actually realised Cornwall will not grow.

    If the dog park was close to Highway 401 many tourists may stop in the area to let their dogs run around. When they stop, they may eat, shop, tour etc.

    Also, what do the funds that are required to tag your dog yearly used for? I have no problem paying for a tag for my dog; however, like any other fee I expect a service to be offered for the money paid.


  23. Having lived in other much larger cities I would say it is very safe to say that any area in Cornwall can be considered “close to the 401”.

  24. I would really like to see a dog park in Cornwall!! Seems I’ve been waiting for years for it to open! Common Cornwall!

  25. Author

    Emily there’s quite a dog park at Fence Depot on Pitt Street at the northern tip. It’s pretty impressive.

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