OPINION: There should be a public dog park on the waterfront

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By Nick Seebruch
OPINION: There should be a public dog park on the waterfront
Photo from PxHere

During the municipal election, there were a few issues that got traction amongst candidates and the public at large. Moving to a ward system, developing Cornwall’s waterfront, taxes, all of these were popular topics during the election that in one way or another, still have momentum to some degree.

One topic that I wish was still being considered was having a public dog park in Cornwall. Off the top, I want to give a shout out to Fence Depot, which does operate a dog park at their shop on the North end of Pitt St. From what I see, this is a popular and well-run service. That being said, I believe that the City of Cornwall should be doing their part to support pet owners, and by extension local tourism, by building a public dog park somewhere on our beautiful waterfront.

There were a few candidates during the election who said that they were interested in the idea of a dog park in Cornwall, unfortunately, I don’t believe that anyone who advocated for a dog park is currently on council.

I think the Cornwall waterfront is the perfect location for a public dog park. With spring on the way, now is the time to consider how this new feature might come to be.

Adding a prominent dog park on Cornwall’s waterfront I think will serve as a boon for tourism. I was traveling this summer with my girlfriend and our dog and we actively were looking for pet friendly restaurants, accommodations and activities and we definitely were not the only ones.

We celebrate our bike path as an important tourism feature that runs through the City of Cornwall and along our waterfront, imagine having a dog park just adjacent to the bike path where pet owners and bike riders could go with their furry friends.

Cornwall would not be the first to the dance in the region however by having a waterfront dog park. The Township of South Dundas has operated a dog park in Morrisburg free of charge since 2011.

In 2013 there was an effort by a group of citizens to build a dog park on the waterfront near the Eco Garden on Race St., but that idea required the approval of the Waterfront Committee, who unanimously rejected the idea. From what I understand, the committee of the day believed that if they set aside land for dogs, it would be lost to everyone else.

I’m not talking about setting aside the entire waterfront for dog owners, just maybe a couple of hundred square metres. A dog park would be a public space, that would be open to dog owners and lovers, who are not a niche minority in this city. Additionally, this past August I received a letter to the editor asking residents to be more vigilant about keeping their dogs on leashes on the waterfront trail, well, if there is a dog park along the trail, I think that would mean there would be far fewer dogs off leash in other places along that same trail.

Cornwall is going to have to use the waterfront land for something eventually, and I think that a dog park is something that the public can enjoy, while boosting our tourism at the same time.

What do you think readers? Email me a Letter to the Editor at nicholas.seebruch@tc.tc

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