canoe landing park

Toronto park with years-long dog poop problem is finally getting a solution

Canoe Landing Park officially opened back in 2009 in the CityPlace condo-hood to much fanfare, though it's become apparent in the intervening years that the eight-acre public space left something to be desired.

The neighbourhood population has skyrocketed in the years since, from just over 1,100 residents in 2006 — just a few years before the park opened — to over 11,650 as of the 2016 census.

Six years later, many new condo developments have come online, and with them, more residents and more pet owners have moved into the area. And that means a whole lot of poop.

A stroll through Canoe Landing Park in recent years feels more like a game of hopscotch through a minefield of dog turds (of varying freshness), conditions that have had area residents complaining for years, demanding a dedicated place for their pooches to roam off-leash and do their business.

It looks like CityPlace residents will finally have that call answered, with a request tabled for the upcoming April 6 city council meeting that would earmark funding for a dedicated fenced-in dog space as part of a planned southerly expansion of the park, extending to currently-vacant land below the Gardiner Expressway.

The motion by Councillor Joe Cressy, seconded by Councillor Mike Layton, will ask city council to request the General Manager, Parks, Forestry, and Recreation to include the park expansion in its 10-Year Capital Plan, which is already funded through community benefits secured from the under-construction Concord Sky development at 23 Spadina Avenue.

Described as a "large, high-quality off-leash area for dogs to run and socialize within a fence," the park extension would be a hugely appreciated addition for dog owners while reducing the safety, health, and maintenance challenges posed by off-leash dogs in other areas of the park.

The proposed expansion is being organized in partnership with The Bentway, which oversees other public spaces below the Gardiner Expressway.

Don't expect any changes overnight, though, as full implementation of this park extension can only begin once the Gardiner Expressway's road deck above is fully refurbished.

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