3 Victoria parks get leash-optional trial extended

Leash-optional pilot programs in three Victoria parks will continue for another two years.

City council agreed in June 2017 to test leash-optional hours in Fisherman’s Wharf Park and Oaklands Park. In September, Barnard Park was added.

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The leash-optional hours were limited to 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Councillors have agreed to extend all three programs for two years and extend the hours to 9 a.m.

Mayor Lisa Helps said the programs appeared to be doing “more good than harm.”

Signs were posted soliciting feedback and assessments were conducted to determine whether there was any impact on the parks themselves.

During the pilot period, Animal Control recorded about one or two complaints a month in each of the parks, for a total of 68.

The city also received 90 emails in support of the program and 14 opposed.

“We didn’t identify any significant negative impacts associated with any of these pilots,” said Thomas Soulliere, the city’s director of parks.

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