Off Leash Dog Parks

There are two off leash dog parks available to residents of Greater Sudbury: Minnow Lake Dog Park and Azilda Dog Park. Learn more about our dog parks, the volunteers who help maintain them, and get some tips for your first visit.

Dogs playing at the dog park.

Minnow Lake Dog Park

Location: the corner of Donna Drive and Second Avenue North. Entrance is on Second Avenue, just north of the cemetery.

Hours: Open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Features: 

  • One fenced enclosure for small dogs (less than 25 lbs and less than 15 inches tall from the shoulder) 
  • One fenced enclosure for large dogs (25 plus lbs or over 15 inches tall from the shoulder)
  • Each enclosure has a double-gated entry/exit for safety
  • Garbage bins and portable washrooms on location

Azilda Dog Park

Location: 3878 Municipal Rd. 15 in Azilda

Hours: Open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Features: 

  • One fenced enclosure for small dogs (less than 25 lbs and less than 15 inches tall from the shoulder) 
  • One fenced enclosure for large dogs (25 plus lbs or over 15 inches tall from the shoulder)
  • Each enclosure has a double-gated entry/exit for safety 
  • Garbage bins and portable washrooms 

Proposed South End Dog Park

Municipal property beside the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex has been identified as the site of Greater Sudbury’s third off-leash dog park.

The property, located at 235 Countryside Drive, matches municipal criteria for site selection and guidelines for the design of separate enclosures for large and small dogs.

Approval of the site as an off-leash dog park requires an amendment to the By-law to Establish and Regulate the use of Off-Leash Dog Parks, following a period of community consultation.

Learn more about off-leash parks

Prior to exploring the potential of any new off-leash dog park, there must be evidence that an organized group of volunteers is committed to the project. Volunteer groups must enter into a written agreement with the City of Greater Sudbury to establish roles and responsibilities for both parties.

It is necessary to secure project funding prior to the advancement of any off-leash dog park in the City of Greater Sudbury.

Once a site meets the requirements for an off-leash dog park, residents are engaged and consulted on the site design. Public input provides an opportunity to address concerns about perceived noise and aesthetics.

What are the requirements to select a site for an off-leash dog park?

Site selection criteria for off-leash dog parks in the City of Greater Sudbury were approved in a report to the Community Services Committee on April 15, 2019.

Reviews of best practices in other municipalities and consultations with dog park user groups have determined the following:

A minimum of two hectares is recommended to establish an off-leash dog park.

A minimum requirement of 0.4 hectares for a large dog off-leash area and a minimum requirement of 0.4 hectares for a small dog off-leash area.

A minimum requirement of 0.2 to 0.4 hectares may be considered for each off-leash area in high density, urban neighbourhoods.

Where feasible, a 50 to 100 metre setback from residential properties is recommended to mitigate noise concerns. Topography or landscaping can reduce the distance of the setback.

Where applicable, a 50 to 100 metre setback is recommended from the following:

  • Playgrounds and Splash Pads
  • Play fields, sports courts and other high intensity park uses
  • Elementary schools and Day Cares
  • Places of worship

The property should be well drained and have a minimal slope.

Off-leash dog parks should not be located in environmentally sensitive areas.

Ground surfaces should be durable and easily maintained. Surfaces may include natural turf or hard surfacing.

The property should have room for sufficient off-road parking.

The property should have proximity to arterial roads and proper site planning to prevent the creation of traffic bottle necks.

For safety and security, locations should be reviewed for Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).

Sites should be able to meet Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requirements and best practices for outdoor spaces.

What are the design requirements for an off-leash dog park?

Design criteria for off-leash dog parks in the City of Greater Sudbury were approved in a report to the Community Services Committee on April 15, 2019.

Reviews of best practices in other municipalities and consultations with dog park user groups have determined the following:

Fencing should be at least four-feet (1.2 metres) in height and at least six-feet (1.8 metres) in height where the property borders arterial roads.

Double gated entrances to open run areas are preferred.

Separate entrances or open run areas are highly recommended for large and for small dogs.

Dependent on natural ground cover, wood chips or crusher dust may be considered with an antimicrobial option to reduce the spread of disease.

Signs displaying regulations and policies of the off-leash dog park are required.

Sufficient waste receptacles are required in the open run areas.

Mutt mitts/waste receptacles outside the open run areas are desirable.

Benches and picnic tables are highly recommended as well as shade structures if natural shade is unavailable.

Potable water stations are desirable dependent on available funding and water services.

Dog play equipment, including agility structures, are desirable dependent on funding.

What are the rules of conduct for off-leash dog parks in the City of Greater Sudbury?

The following rules of conduct apply to all off-leash dog parks in the City of Greater Sudbury:

Pet owners and handlers are limited to three dogs in the off-leash park.

Pet owners must always stoop and scoop.

Operating hours are between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. daily.

Pet owners and handlers must always be in care and control of their dog and keep a leash readily accessible at all times.

Unhealthy or injured dogs and dogs in heat are not permitted in the off-leash dog park.

Dogs demonstrating aggressive behaviour must immediately be removed from the off-leash dog park.

Dogs under four months are not permitted in the off-leash dog park.

Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult over the age of 18.

Dogs are not permitted to dig in the off-leash dog park and handlers/owners must fill in any holes created by their dogs.

Human food is not permitted in the off-leash dog park.

Owners/handlers must exercise caution when giving their dog a toy or treat in the off-leash area.

Are off-leash dog parks beneficial to the community?

With local by-laws regulating the use of leashes, dedicated off-leash parks provide pet owners with the opportunity to exercise and socialize dogs in a controlled area. Off-leash dog parks:

Promote canine physical health and socialization to reduce nuisance behaviors and make dogs better canine citizens.

Encourage people to exercise and to socialize with others sharing a common interest.

Accommodate senior citizens and persons with disabilities who may not be able to walk their dogs on leash.

Build a sense of community around parks, engagement and the environment.

More information:

Off-Leash Dog Parks By-Law

http://www.greatersudbury.ca/content/div_clerks/documents/By-law%202012-145.pdf

Off-Leash Dog Parks Update, Report to Community Services Committee (April 15, 2019)

http://agendasonline.greatersudbury.ca/index.cfm?pg=agenda&action=navigator&id=1352&itemid=15717&lang=en

Dog Owners’ Liability Act

https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90d16