Make Connaught Park a Designated Off Leash Park

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Kitsilano is a growing neighborhood. As a community, we make every attempt to follow the law, do our part to make Vancouver a greener city, and limit our foot print by spending as little time in our cars as possible. The benefit being a healthier community for everybody.  Within our limited community foot print, we house three schools, a recreation facility, a community center, residences - housing adults, children, and pets. We all want to live in harmony inside the boundaries of our confined space. With these challenges, the citizens are trying to make the best of our shared outdoor space.

Unfortunately the Vancouver Park Board has been monitoring the usage of Connaught Park, and many community members have received by law fines.

We, residents of Kitsilano, request the Vancouver Park Board reinstate Connaught Park as a designated off-leash park.

According to information gathered by the city and released in the report “People, Parks, and Dogs: A strategy for sharing Vancouver’s Parks” over half of Kitsilano does not meet their own recommendation that everyone live within a 15 minute walk to a neighborhood park. The report also outlines steps they want to take to make the city a more pet friendly place for both owners and non owners alike. Part of this plan is to designate new off-leash areas throughout the city.

Many people who live in Kits do not have vehicles, or are physically impaired. Thus, making transiting considerable distances burdensome, and in some cases impossible.

Designated off-leash areas have many benefits for owners and non owners alike including, but not limited to:

  • Fostering a sense of community while encouraging turning neighbors into friends.
  • Socialization of the dogs. Dogs that are socialized properly are less aggressive than dogs who are not exposed to strangers, and other dogs.
  • Clear signage and designation reduces confrontation.
  • Dogs can contribute to your happiness. Studies show that dogs reduce stress, anxiety and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and improve your all-around health.

It is worth noting that the off-leash area at the Tennyson school was recently abolished leaving an already underserved area without any accessible options.

Connaught Park was previously designated an off-leash park from 1998-2002. With change in government, this pilot was re-evaluated and many parks, Connaught included, were no longer designated as “off-leash” We request the designation be reinstated for an overall happier, healthier, and better connected community.