North York off-leash dog park to stay closed

Dog owners’ group must pay $15,000 in costs for failed appeal


Published:

An appeal to overturn a City of Toronto decision to close an off-leash area for dogs has failed, leaving members of the group that applied for it facing a $15,000 court bill.

Following a protracted legal battle that pitted neighbour against neighbour near Ledbury Park, City of Toronto: Parks, Forestry and Recreation closed the off-leash area in the green space, citing on-going and unresolved conflicts between off-leash users and area residents. Challenging the decision, the Ledbury Dog Owners’ Association (LDOA) took the case before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

There, the Superior Court dismissed LDOA’s submission that the city’s decision should not have taken into account complaints of neighbours who did not themselves use the park.

Fred Myers, a pro-bono lawyer from Goodmans LLP and legal counsel for LDOA, said the loss was disappointing for his clients.

“At the same time, I think our clients are quite pleased to see that, perhaps aided by their actions in keeping this issue in the public eye, the city has now determined to study other options for off-leash areas,” he said. According to local Ward 16 councillor Karen Stintz, the city intends to keep the lessons Ledbury taught in mind. “The one key lesson we had from this circumstance was that we cannot have an off-leash park next to residential homes,” she said.

“They would not even look at an appeal. Better let sleeping dogs lie.”

This is a relief for Jan Petrook, a neighbour of the park who recalls the “pandemonium” of gates clanging and dogs barking. She and neighbours felt an off-leash area was inappropriate so close to their homes.

“[The city] realized it’s very unfair,” she said. “But there are other designated dog parks that do not impinge on people’s happiness, privacy and well-being.” Petrook said she thinks the dog owners’ association is unlikely to revive its case once again.

“They would not even look at an appeal. Even if [LDOA] did, they would end up having to pay the money again,” she said.

“I think they better let sleeping dogs lie.”

Join the conversation and have your say by commenting below. Our comment system uses a Facebook plugin. Please note that you'll have to turn off some ad-blockers in order to see the comments.

Edit Module

Follow us on Twitter @PostCity for more on what to eat, where to shop and what to do in Toronto.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

You may also like...

Vandalism at Baycrest part of larger trend

Vandalism at Baycrest part of larger trend

A recent act of vandalism at Baycrest Health Sciences centre is the latest in a number of hate crimes across the city. A male suspect is still at large and the Toronto Police Service (TPS) is requesting the public’s help identifying him.
Posted 2 days ago
Sewell on City Hall: Enough! Or Too Much

Sewell on City Hall: Enough! Or Too Much

Some people think there is not enough development around the Yonge-Eglinton intersection. City planners have given approval to a 24-storey tower at 90 Eglinton Ave. W., replacing a solid-looking six-storey structure. North York Community Council brushed aside strong local opposition, including from local councillors Josh Matlow, Jaye Robinson and Christin Carmichael Greb, and recommended the development to Toronto City Council at the next meeting.
Posted 2 days ago
Cemetery operator donates 23 acres in North York

Cemetery operator donates 23 acres in North York

The Mount Pleasant Group of Cemeteries (MPGC) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 25 to announce their donation of 23 acres at York Cemetery near Yonge Street and Sheppard Avenue to the City of Toronto. However, the question of whether or not MPGC owns the land and has the legal authority to convey it still stands before the courts.
Posted 4 days ago
OMB mediation allows 34 storeys at Yonge-St. Clair

OMB mediation allows 34 storeys at Yonge-St. Clair

A 34-storey tower will be built at the Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue intersection now that the developer has reached an agreement with the community through an Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) mediation.
Posted 5 days ago
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module