The North Shore News published a letter from a reader last Wednesday (July 6), and since then, we’ve been inundated with comments about the off-leash dog park in Central Lonsdale, just off East Eighth Street and Lonsdale Avenue.
Here’s just a selection of them:
There is always something that upsets people who, for one reason or another, do not like any kind of change to their neighbourhood. Is it such a change from people park to dog park? Believe me if it stayed people park, the complaints of noisy users would be the topic of this letter. As previous dog owners they must know people have to take the pets somewhere. This way it’s a nice meeting space and friendships both people and canines are made. It's this or people walk their dogs on streets or other parks where children play too.
I think we should have a place for dogs to go have a run but we should make sure that we don't disturb our neighbours. Also, we should have a vet that people on lower incomes can bring our pets for check ups also shots and spaying and neutering our beloved pets also just for a shave.
I also have lived on Lonsdale, and am baffled by the response of our neighbours.
For 12 years we have lived on the North Shore, and three months of it have been on Eighth Street where the dog park is. For 12 years we have had to endure construction noises during the day, train horns and truck brakes, and worst of all modified cars with after-market mufflers on Marine Drive, that has become the only arterial road with sometimes only one lane available going both ways.
I have had to give away my kitten, Tipsy, as she was too stressed out when we first got her in summer, thanks to the nightly fright of modified, stress inducing cars, she became extremely ill and we could not put her under more stress. My budgies Merry and Pippin also get stressed out, especially when sick, by these modified cars.
Incidentally, we had to live on Eighth Street for three months due to renovations in 2022, and yet the new dog park has not been annoying in the slightest. For one there are no dogs after dark, and modified cars with those noisy mufflers are still an issue in Lonsdale. We sometimes cannot communicate properly in our own home with these after-market muffler users. The dog park is a welcome addition as it has made that street a one way with no exit, and thus all traffic is now local.
I only wish we had such locality and options to traffic flow instead of one arterial connecting everything between two bridges. At least in Lonsdale some of those cars opt for the parallel streets.
I have been visiting the dog park above Victoria Park/Keith Road at about 11th and Lonsdale. We love this park! The big dogs play with the little dogs; people from apartments and condos and townhouses come to this park which is walking distance for so many of us. We are fortunate that it is near our cardiologist's office and we can get an afternoon tea from across the street. There is a bowl which everyone fills up when it gets empty as the dogs all take turns drinking from it. It is exhausting to be a dog, to play hard and then know they can freshen themselves. The best part is that there are three stations like palapas where the dogs and their owners can sit out of the hot sun. Yes, there are some dogs that bark upon their approach to the park, but those same dogs will still bark when their owners are taking them out in the morning. As a frequent visitor, it is such a joy to see the dogs. What I really like is the community that has developed between neighbours, dog or no dog.
I live in the new condo above the park and am awoken on Sunday mornings by either dog fights or barking dogs. There are signs suggesting dog owners keep the barking levels down, but they seem not to respect the written rules. This dog park is annoying many residents including myself. This is a peaceful neighbourhood otherwise.
I absolutely agree with Nora Russell and I hope we can work with her to convince the City of North Vancouver to remove this off-leash dog park from this normally quiet residential neighbourhood.
But, Adera Developments, who built the Crest, a seven-storey wood frame residency between Eighth and 11th, also built the million dollar amenity for the City of North Van to help sell their project. The building has more dogs than people, and when the fire trucks come roaring down Lonsdale with sirens wailing, that whole building starts howling. It’s absolutely ridiculous. We had a petition signed by 100-plus neighbours and sent it to city council and it fell on deaf ears.
The dog park is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m, seven days a week, and at times has as many as 20 dogs.
I find it hard to believe that there would be constant barking at the park, enough so to have a major impact on the lives of the writer. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that this was not an issue in the past when no dog park existed, and maybe more of adjusting to new sounds in the area.
I do think the City needs to do a better job of providing more accessible off-leash dog parks as well as making appropriate areas close to home where a pet can relieve themselves. Many buildings are becoming more pet friendly which I’m happy about, however, when they step outside there is nothing but concrete sidewalks. An example is on 13th street and Lonsdale. There used to be grassy patches along the street, which has been replaced by concrete sidewalks and ‘gardens’ with signs prohibiting dogs, etc. Also, there is a small park on 14th Street next to the RCMP building, but it prohibits dogs.
Perhaps the city would consider planting grass instead of concrete along boulevards, etc. And perhaps these new buildings under construction could have an area on site specifically for dogs to relieve themselves.