Dog Park Unleashed in Uxbridge

By DJacoby / February 18, 2009

Todd Chisholm wasn’t the first resident of Uxbridge, Ontario to propose a dog park in his town, but he may be the first to succeed in making it happen. The park, his project in the SELP program, is on its way to becoming a reality thanks to his willingness to raise funds and do whatever it takes to make it happen. The Times-Journal newspaper wrote an article about Chisholm’s proposal.

Uxbridge dog park proposal unleashed

Township to examine logistics of canine sanctuary

A resident unleashed an idea for a dog park in town to councillors Monday morning.

Todd Chisholm approached councillors to pitch the idea of a leash-free dog area. “There’s no (leash-free) park… this is a great opportunity,” said Mr. Chisholm, adding there is an Uxbridge bylaw dictating dogs should be on leashes. He said the proposed park would be contained by fencing so “dogs and their owners could socialize without the dogs wandering away.”

He also offered to raise funds for the project to assist the Township, with a goal to have the park in place by next spring or summer. Mr. Chisholm said to gauge what kind of support the plan has, he would “create a petition… go door to door, to get an idea of who’s interested.”

Councillors noted a dog sanctuary has been pitched before, but were supportive of Mr. Chisholm’s initiative. “You’re the first that said (you) want to help,” said Regional Councillor Howie Herrema.

Mr. Chisholm suggested Quaker Common and Elgin Park as potential locations for the facility, but the latter idea was shot down by councillors including Coun. Ted Eng. “I think we’d have a lot of problems with the residents if we choose Elgin Park, there’s a lot of events at Elgin Park,” he said.

But Coun. Bev Northeast suggested the Kennedy House property, now in Township hands, as a venue. “That might be an ideal venue,” she said. Mayor Bob Shepherd pointed out there is a 25-acre parcel of Township-owned land on Concession 7 that also could be examined.

Mr. Chisholm explained he’d like to attach rules to the park, such as requiring users to clean up after their pets, and limiting what breeds of canine would be allowed into the park “because some dogs aren’t social.”

Council decided to refer the request to Bob Ferguson, parks manager, to discuss with Mr. Chisholm about specifics of the proposal such as location and cost after which Mr. Ferguson will present a report.

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