St. Lawrence Neighborhood dog owners are a sociable bunch and many congregate on the playground and baseball field in Crombie Park bounded by Frederick, The Esplanade and Sherbourne.
Their dogs romp and play and poop. Most local dog owners pick up after their pets, though in a snowy winter a lot sinks invisibly beneath the snow only to reappear after a thaw.
Spring can be quite smelly.
In addition, some drivers along The Esplanade have been seen pulling up to the curb, opening the door so their dog can run into the park, poop and scamper back to the car which then drives away leaving more park poop.
Many locals fear their dogs will run into the street and become a traffic victim.
So to prevent that, there is a lobby group that has formed seeking to fence in some or all of that park.
The dogs run unhampered and some do give their owners a fright by running into the street. Some also give pedestrians a fright by running up to them. In some cultures dogs are seen as hostile and in others they’re seen as unclean and their religion denounces dogs.
Councillor Pam McConnell’s office is trying to come to a resolution that suits most residents and gives dogs a safe place to run.
Recently a number of dog owners gathered in the park to pump up interest in fencing the whole thing. They refer to it as a “dog park,” which it might seem to be by default.
Fencing in the entire park isn’t desirable, says Tom Davidson, Pam’s constituency assistant for the area. There has been consideration of fencing in an area of the railroad land on the northwest corner of Sherbourne and the Gardiner. But that is railway land and it would take a lot of negotiation that might not be fruitful, says Davidson.
The baseball diamond in the park denotes the fact it is a recreational park and the occupation by dog owners can reduce its desirability as a park.
One possibility is to fence in a long dog run on the very south side of the dog park bordered by the ball diamond fence on the north. The park would be free from dog poop and there would be ample space for dog owners. The city could prepare a special base as it has done in some other dedicated dog parks.