The City is investigating the feasibility of converting Lawren Harris Square into a dog off-leash area. The design of the proposed off-leash area will be developed in consultation with the community once the location is confirmed.

Project Timeline

  • April to June 2021: Location review and hire a design team
  • June to September 2021: Community engagement
  • September 2021 to Spring 2022: Detailed design
  • Spring 2022: Construction begins
  • Summer 2022: Construction complete

The timeline is subject to change.

Based on significant demand from local residents, the City is considering the installation of a new dog off-leash area at Lawren Harris Square, located at the intersection of Bayview Avenue and Lawren Harris Square, across from Corktown Commons. The proposed off-leash area would be fenced with gated entry.

A dedicated off-leash area is needed in the community:

  • There is a high concentration of dog owners in the neighbourhood and therefore a significant demand from residents for an off-leash area.
  • Conflicts occur often between Corktown Commons park users and dog owners who unleash their dogs in the Commons. Providing a dedicated space for off-leash dogs can reduce these conflicts.
  • An off-leash area was previously located in the neighbourhood at Corktown Commons and was removed by Enbridge when major work was undertaken in the area. Enbridge is funding the replacement of the off-leash area.

Lawren Harris Square is the proposed site for the new off-leash area because:

  • The square is located close to a large population of dog owners.
  • The square is not heavily used by local residents, with most choosing to spend their time at the nearby Corktown Commons.

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Approximate area of a potential dog off leash area in Lawren Harris square would include most of the square except for the treed corners. Each tree within the square would be fenced off as part of the required tree protection zones.

Other locations previously considered include:

  • Corktown Commons, the east side of the berm: This area is located in a flood plain and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), which regulates land use in the flood plain, will not allow a fenced off-leash area.
  • Corktown Commons, the south lawn: This area is not suitable because the hill is used by families for tobogganing in the winter and the field is regularly permitted for entertainment and recreation purposes.
  • Underpass Park West on the west side of St. Lawrence Street:
    • This area of the park hosts a farmers market on Thursday afternoons during the spring, summer and fall, and an off-leash facility is not compatible with the market’s use of the space.
    • There are transportation maintenance projects planned for the overpass structures in 2024-2026, which would displace a dog off-leash area soon after construction.

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