By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
City pooches may soon have another spot to enjoy some off-leash play time.
Following public consultation, councillors have approved Cordova Park on Oxford Street as the future location for the city’s second off-leash dog park.
The location was among two that were presented as potential locations for the future park. Cordova was chosen over Stone Street Park as the preferred location due to its larger size (approximately 1.8 acres), suitable parking and its location in a high-density area.
The project will now be brought forward as part of the 2019 capital budget, along with the possibility of upgrading existing park facilities and improving accessibility.
Currently, the city is only home to a single off-leash dog park, that being Harmony Valley, located in the city’s north end.
The potential for a second dog park has been under consideration since 2015. According to the city’s Parks, Recreation, Library and Culture Facilities Needs Assessment, there has been a need for a second dog park in Oshawa for some time. One of the report’s recommendations, approved in November 2015, is for the city to look into securing a second site for an off-leash park along with examining expanding the north portion of Harmony Valley.
As it stands, Harmony Valley has seen success due to a partnership with the Oshawa Durham Area Walkers Group (ODAWG), who work with the city to make park improvements, gain memberships and generally maintain the park. A similar partnership is desired for the future Cordova location.
“We are working with volunteer groups now to arrange some type of volunteer program,” says Ron Diskey, the city’s commissioner of community services.
According to ODAWG, they are more than willing to work with the city to set up a similar program to Harmony Valley.
“The success of the Harmony Valley off-leash park led us to believe, years ago, that a second dog park would be an asset to the city,” says Debi Foster, the vice-chair of ODAWG. “ODAWG will provide advice and guidance to the stewards of the new park to ensure their success. Part of the ODAWG mandate is to provide educations sessions for dog owners. There is the possibility that the two groups would work together on such events.”
According to a staff report on the matter, the dog park come with a price tag of approximately $340,000.