Verdun residents unimpressed at plans for a new dog park
MONTREAL -- City officials are planning to build a dog park in Verdun along some of the most valued waterfront real estate and some residents are unhappy with the plan.
Verdun plans to build the spot for canines in George O'Reilly Park
Alyssa Spriggs loves the park as it is, and it was one of the reasons she bought a duplex in the area.
"One of the main reasons is the beautiful view that I have when I walk out of the house," she said.
City officials say the dog park is about safety and creating a separate space for animals.
"The idea is to create a space where there is a physical barrier between them and dogs so they're safe," said city councillor Sterling Downey. "That's the point of a dog park is to have a physical space that doesn't allow for that cohabitation to happen."
Spriggs doesn't see the park improving safety.
"They (children) will be walking with all kinds of dogs," she said. "This is a major security issue. They'll be sharing that pathway with lots of dogs."
Residents have started a petition and so far have collected 300 signatures opposed to the location of the dog park.
"What is good about free land is people can do whatever they want," said resident Christian Ouimette. "It's inclusive to everyone."
"It's not about not wanting a dog park," said resident Veronique Gelinas. "It's about not wanting it here. It's about not wanting any more fences in this beautiful area that has been developed east to west."
City officials say many people walk their dogs in the park and often do not use leashes. The dog park, they say, will make things safer.
Resident Judy Scott disagrees.
"It's going to make the problem worse," she said. "We hear them at midnight and at one o'clock in the morning. You know, dogs fighting in the park and owners who are irresponsible."
Downey says the exact plans are not finalized, but the city is accepting tenders for the work.