Dog owners in southwest Scarborough wanted their pets to socialize, and didn’t want to drive their dogs somewhere to do it.
A small group, the Warden Woofs D.O.G. (Dog Owners Group) submitted its application for an off-leash area to the City of Toronto in October 2011.
It worked: a dog park in Warden Woods was approved last year, and finished by the start of 2013.
“Finding the location was the tough part,” Oskar Weston, a member, said.
The chosen area at the south end of Warden Woods Ravine, next to the parking lot near Danforth and Pharmacy avenues, was used as an off-leash area all the time, Weston said, so why not give people and dogs a space where they won’t be breaking the city leash bylaw?
Not that there isn’t a code of conduct at a dog park. It can be found, along with other information at the group’s website, www.wardenwoofs.com
On Saturday, Jan. 12, dog owners celebrated the off-leash area’s opening with Michelle Berardinetti, the local councillor.
Official dog parks are still relatively rare in Scarborough, where the city has only approved three others.
Laurie Little, a Warden Woofs organizer, said she thinks the new spot may be the only one in Berardinetti’s Ward 35 where an off-leash could be built, since the city avoids placing them close to homes or in environmentally sensitive areas.
Little said she got involved because she would make the eastward trek to Thomson Memorial Park, until now her closest off-leash option, but thought it would be nice to have one closer to home.
“I’ve got a hyper, very active border collie mix who needs to run,” she added.