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Hillcrest off-leash park will stay with reduced area 

October 13, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The off-leash dog park area at Hillcrest Park in Alliston is going to remain with some changes to the current design.

The park is located at Cowen Ave. and Park Street in the northwest corner of town.

The park has source of contention among some nearby residents who say the off-leash park is not suitable for a residential area citing lack of parking, issues with smells, and increased traffic. They also say the park is too large and eliminates a large part of the parks’ recreational area. 

Members of council visited the site to see for themselves if there were problems with the design.

Some residents also said that there was no notice given to those in the neighbourhood that the park was going to be constructed so they were unable to voice opposition prior to fences going up and work being started.

The town put a ‘pause’ on construction and a motion was passed that included polling of members of the public that live in the neighbourhood.

The results of that poll were presented at the September 26, council meeting. 

The poll indicated that 60 percent of the 457 residents that responded they did own a dog. Of that group, 58 per cent said they wanted a dog park in that location. When asked if they though an off-leash dog park was need in that area of town, 61.9 per cent said ‘yes.’ 

When asked if the dog park was to remain, would they approve of the current design, 61.1 percent replied in the affirmative.

Of those residents polled, when asked how often they use Hillcrest Park for non dog-related activities, 48.5 per cent said they do not use the park at all, while 24. 1 per cent indicate they use it one, to two, times per week.

Ward 1 councillor, Wayne Noye, presented a motion to reduce the park size by 25 per cent, which would be around 50 feet, and have town staff monitor activity at the park, and add an additional buffer zone around the park.

The situation will be monitored for year to determine a final outcome. 

Council passed the motion and the leash-free park will remain open.

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