St. Boniface residents are letting loose on the idea of an off-leash dog park.
Area resident Mattieu Allard presented a new location for proposed the park in north St. Boniface at a recent Riel community committee meeting. The issue was referred to next year’s budget process.
Allard — a St. Boniface resident who has three dogs — believes a park area located at 1051 Brussels St. near Marion Street and Lagimodiere Boulevard would be the most suitable available spot for an off-leash dog park in the area.
"It was referred to the budget and we’re looking to find the cash for this project, so that’s a positive thing," Allard said, noting Whittier Park was touted as a possible location. The idea was nixed due to safety concerns because it’s a mixed-use area which accommodates soccer and baseball fields, as well as parked cars.
"The Brussels Street location is a little area with about 25 houses and is mixed residential and industrial. Not a lot of people know about it. My understanding is that about 10 years ago, it was a skating rink," he said.
Allard has been working on this project for some time, as he feels an off-leash park would be an important addition for the community.
"They are great places for families to go out and visit and to get exercise for your pets. Dogs don’t get the same exercise with a leash. It great to see them let loose and have fun," he said, noting his current trips to Maple Grove, Kilcona and Little Mountain dog parks all take approximately 30 minutes by car.
"I could see myself and others using this location because of limited vehicular traffic and decent-sized green space. If appropriate fencing was installed, it would be a good location for my dogs and the rest of my family to enjoy some time outdoors."
Area resident and dog owner Alex Phillips thinks Brussels Street could be a suitable location.
"It certainly would be an area for people with pets to roam free. It would be good for the community," Phillips said. "It’s a convenient location and easily acceptable."
Coun. Dan Vandal (St. Boniface) said the proposed off leash park would be a "good amenity for the north St. Boniface area."