The borough of Saint-Leonard is letting the dogs out this summer with a new pilot project.
As of July 1, dogs are now permitted to be walked on leashes in 10 of the borough’s major green spaces.
The new project temporarily reverses a longstanding bylaw that restricted the furry four-legged friends to the perimeter of parks.
The move comes after an online petition garnered more than 2,500 signatures calling for the bylaw to be revoked.
“We see the smiles in the park. We are able to walk our dogs in the park. It’s a great first step. We can tell people are happy just enjoying the greenery of the trees and our parks,” dog owner Rosannie Filato said.
Filato was the one spearheading the push to lift the ban and says the pilot project is heading in the right direction but hopes for more.
Currently, the pilot project only allows dogs to be walked on the parks’ paths and trails.
The dogs and their owners are not permitted in playgrounds or on green spaces, but Filato hopes to see that change.
“We do expect that it will be extended to the grass so that we can have a picnic like every other Montrealer with our furry friends,” Filato said.
In a statement, the borough says the project will help the public explore what its parks have to offer.
“We believe that the presence of walkers with their dogs on a leash on the trails of our large parks will help increase attendance,” borough councillor De Larochellière said.
“We are also counting on the collaboration of dog owners to demonstrate that the cleanliness of our parks will not be compromised by this project.”
The project will run from July and last until the fall, according to the borough.
During that time, De Larochellière says public consultations will be conducted to see if the measure will become permanent.
The list of parks that are part of the pilot project are: