Downtown Edmonton dog owners will have a new spot to take their pets this summer.
The Ice District tweeted Wednesday morning that construction will begin this spring on an interim off-leash dog park just east of the 104 Avenue and 102 Street intersection.
The dog park will be privately owned and maintained but open to the general public. The space will include lighting, waste receptacles, artificial turf and trees on the perimeter.
“Talking to people living in the downtown core, businesses and the like, and it was an amenity that a lot of people wanted and we’re happy to deliver,” Oilers Entertainment Group corporate communications vice president Tim Shipton said.
Shipton said construction will begin in May, with a scheduled opening date in July. The dog park is being designated as interim because there are plans to have offices eventually constructed on the space.
“Those plans are going to extend out over several years so we expect that dog park to be there for a significant period of time while we sequence the development of Phase 2,” Shipton said.
Shipton noted a green space is part of the Ice District Phase 2 plan, which will allow people, including dog owners and their pets, to enjoy the space.
Edmonton has over 40 off-leash dog parks. In 2019, a report recommended exploring possible community-initiated efforts to develop more dog parks in the city, similar to a neighbourhood group working to get a playground built.
In 2018, University of Alberta students released research that suggested Edmonton was in need of more off-leash dog parks, but the study indicated neighbourhoods in the suburbs were in greater need of such spaces.
The study’s conclusion was based on the number of dogs per household in Edmonton neighbourhoods, which was calculated using the number of dog licenses.