Dog Park Pilot in Saanich, on-leash paths at Gyro, Approved

Update: May 31, 2021: Council has postponed reading of the bylaws for item #2 noted below. It is anticipated that a special meeting will be scheduled on June 14, 2021. Agenda forthcoming for June 14 and Minutes forthcoming for March 31 meetings.

On May 17, Saanich Council approved multiple improvements related to dogs in Cadboro Bay and throughout Saanich. Improvements include:

  1. A “roving” dog park pilot project in multiple Saanich Parks, for trial and research purposes during Summer 2021. This innovative project will produce insights that inform a broader strategy for dogs across the District of Saanich.
  2. Improving accessibility at Cadboro-Gyro Park by designating specific pathways (see map below) where dogs can be walked on leash, May 1 to Aug 31. The Committee of the Whole approved three readings of amended byalws at the next Council meeting, to bring this into effect.
  3. Improving signage related to dogs at Cadboro-Gyro Park.

Increased enforcement using an integrated strategy involving Saanich Police (Animal Control) and bylaw has also been implemented.

The anticipated Federal report on dogs in migratory bird sanctuaries was confirmed to be unavailable, and additional weeks or months may be expected. Following its release, Saanich staff will need to review the findings and prepare a report to Mayor and Council with recommendations. Bylaw amendments may be considered at that time.

The University of Victoria (UVic) confirmed that it would not consider re-opening the field at Cedar Hill Cross, in its May 13, 2021 letter available here. This followed from a request by Mayor Haynes and Oak Bay’s Mayor Murdoch earlier this month to UVic.

Councilor Harper opposed the motion to allow leashed dogs on designated pathways. All other motions passed unanimously. Links to Minutes and Video (public input starts immediately and Council’s discussion of Dogs in Parks begin at 1:37).

Map below: Pathways where leashed dogs are to be permitted, indicated in orange (current) and yellow (future).

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