Valley Stream East Park will remain dog-free thanks to recommendations from community members and the area councillor.
Community association holds onto designation for local park.
A graphic of Valley Stream East Park. The community association says the proximity to a school, a baseball diamond and two play structures make it an inappropriate location and the city now agrees.
The park – at 92 Gladecrest Court – came into the spotlight in August after a petition proposed turning it into an off-leash dog park.
College Coun. Rick Chiarelli said he talked to staff about the residents concerns and is happy with the recommendation.
“The park is really shared with St. John the Apostle (Catholic Elementary School), so it wasn’t really appropriate,” Chiarelli said. “Bruce Pit is minutes away, which makes it an option.”
The process to change a park designation can be started by a written proposal from the community association or by a petition signed by 25 or more residents within a 500-metre radius of the subject park.
The application is accepted by the city's emergency and protective services department and the public has a consultation period of no less than three weeks.
At end of the consultation period, staff report to the ward councillor with the results. If the councilor agrees with the recommendation, the designation will stick. If not, the application goes to the community and protective services committee. The decision of the committee and council are final.
Chiarelli said it makes senses to keep the park free of dogs because of its location.
According to the city's dogs-in-park designation policy, criteria to change a park are determined by park size, the location and size of facilities – like baseball diamonds and play structures – and proximity to schools.
Jay Tysick, president of the Valleystream Community Association said the result is only possible because of community engagement with the process.
“It was a six-month process but we are happy to see residents are having an impact on the decision-making process,” Tysick said, thanking residents for their patience while they waited for the outcome.
“It can be a very divisive issue and now that it’s resolved I would like to thank everyone for getting past it and respecting the bylaw in the future,” Tysick said.