Where would you put a new off-leash dog park in Yellowknife?

The reporter's dog stops to smell the flowers
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Do Yellowknife’s dogs need a new off-leash domain to explore? That’s what councillors suggested on Monday night.

Adrian Bell asked city administration to look into the matter and establish whether the city needs to add more off-leash areas for dogs.

“We have a limited number of options for off-leash areas, and we’re now more strict about the fact that dogs need to be leashed when they’re not in those areas,” said Bell.

“We also have new constraints with respect to health insurance for dogs – under most policies, if injuries occur if your dog is off-leash in a non-designated off-leash area, it voids your insurance.

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“We have a variety of user groups who love making use of our natural resources. More and more they’re out there, overlapping each other’s territories. Dog users are wondering if it’s time to designate some [more] areas for them.”

More information: City of Yellowknife’s guide to off-leash dog areas

More information: NWT SPCA details on dog walking areas

At the moment, dogs – and their owners – in Yellowknife have three off-leash open-space options: Tin Can Hill, the sandpits or Fiddler’s Lake Road. Only one of those, Tin Can Hill, is within walking distance of a large number of properties. There is also a fenced-in dog park behind the curling rink.

“These don’t necessarily have to be fenced areas,” said Bell, imagining what a new off-leash dog area might look like. “They can be just generally a large area with signage.

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“These are considered to be some of the very attractive natural assets of Canadian cities and increase the quality of life for residents. It’s time we took a look at what the possibilities might be.”

Councillor Julian Morse joined in, adding: “We have a lot of great trails in this city. When administration looks into this, they should consider that a lot of areas in this city are already informal off-leash areas.

“Perhaps all that’s needed is to predesignate them as an off-leash area, similar to how Tin Can Hill is right now.”

There’s no immediate timeline for administration to report back with some options for off-leash areas.

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