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Dog park construction to start soon

Thursday, May 08, 2014   by: Donna Hopper

A legal, safe, and beautiful space for man's best friend to play and socialize is inching closer to actualization thanks to an additional $10,000 commitment from the City of Sault Ste. Marie.

At its December 3, 2012 meeting, City Council carried a resolution committing $45,000 to the construction of Sault Ste. Marie's first leash-free dog park to be located near Strathclair Park.

That left the Legal Off Leash Dog Owners Group of Sault Ste. Marie (LOLDOGS) to raise $25,000 to round out the funding for the $70,000 facility.

LOLDOGS had hoped to raise it's portion of the funding through raffle draws and Trillium grants, co-Chair Jake Cormier told

However, because LOLDOGS is only responsible for raising money to deliver to the City and technically isn't building the dog park, the organization failed to qualify for a lottery license and didn't meet the criteria for government funding.

This is when the City of Sault Ste. Marie stepped in the boost its funding commitment to $55,000.

Cormier said LOLDOGS has raised $10,000 to date through a variety of fundraising initiatives, events, and public donations, and the remaining $5,000 has been committed from another local organization.

Sault Ste. Marie Manager of Recreation and Culture Joe Cain told us that the City's Parks and Recreation Department will be constructing the dog park this year, but the start date has been delayed due to the late arrival of spring.

LOLDOGS has a number of upcoming fundraising events planned, including Tropical Pet Picture Days at Rome's Independent Grocer on Friday and Saturday, May 9 and 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On Friday, June 13, the inaugural Dog Bowl event is scheduled to take place at Northcrest Lanes.

Tickets for this event - currently available at Northcrest Lanes, Pet Valu (both locations), Foremost Pets (both locations), Paw 'n Pet Food, Jen's Paw Spa, and Amore - are $20 each and include two and half hours of unlimited bowling, shoe rental, and one extra large pizza per lane.

For those wishing to immortalize their beloved canine, LOLDOGS has launched its Memorial Stepping Stone program.

For $65, a 12-inch paw print-shaped stepping stone will be engraved with your pet's name and placed around the perimeter of the dog park to create a memorial path.

For more information about these fundraisers and other LOLDOGS initiatives, please click here.

Previous coverage of this story

Doggy heaven coming spring 2014. Hopefully

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Powerwise 5/8/2014 6:39:38 PM Report

Ah, but will the "have nots" from the humane society see any use of this new facility?

I am primarily worried about the unfortunates of the canine world.
wandering 5/8/2014 6:54:04 PM Report

they should do something for bike instead..more worry that peoples get kill than dog
will be nice to have bike trail that cross one...not like they want to do on Queen street ...
dadal 5/8/2014 7:11:05 PM Report

Parvo virus is air born. Humane Society has non stop issues with Parvo and the park is WAY too close to that shelter.

I am a dog owner. I will NOT use that park. I WILL NOT risk my dogs' health nor will I be under the scrutiny of the local kill shelter.

I applaud LOL Dogs for wanting a safe dog run. But the location is horrendous.

I predict at least one dog will become ill from Parvo within the first month of use.
missmessh 5/8/2014 7:59:02 PM Report

Canine parvovirus is spread by contact with an infected dog's feces, not airborne =)
opinionated 5/8/2014 8:04:20 PM Report

While someone should never shrug off Parvo, it is NOT airborne! That is a ridiculous myth.
hodedo68 5/8/2014 8:34:32 PM Report

so what is a safe distance?
Sam C 5/8/2014 8:35:15 PM Report

dadal... a dog could pick up the parvo virus ANYWHERE. And if they aren't getting it at Bellevue Park or the may school yards that are currently being used, I don't see that its as big a concern as you think it to be.
locura 5/8/2014 9:20:05 PM Report

Definitely need a dog park, too bad it cannot be Topsail Island since it's apparently not being used for anything else(not even Bon Soo this year) Been going for years on weekend mornings and weekday nights, no problems. Meet same people, same dogs, all good.
harry dick 5/8/2014 9:26:50 PM Report

Top sail Island was the perfect place for a dog park. It has water for dogs to swim and the island has only one way on and off .Why couldn't we use this area as a off-leash dog park. There is nothing at the new park for the dogs to do.
markbernard 5/8/2014 9:36:12 PM Report

Locura and Harry, your comments are going to raise a hellstorm of negative comments (not saying I disagree with you) but any time anyone mentions topsail becoming an off-leash area they are met with a horde of half-educated twits that don't even actually have any desire to go there screaming about how they want there future kids to be able to enjoy that small part of bellevue park.

It's definitely going to be challenging to bring dogs to an area like that during the summer when the humidex is reaching 40+ degrees. Without an adequate area for the dogs to cool off they will be suffering from heat stroke unless you go at 11pm, but I am interested to see how whatever the proposed plan is to battle this and optimistic in that regard...

But since this is an article about something being done for dogs in this city, cue the morons that are going to speak out about how they are pissed off about tax dollars being wasted on animals, completely disregarding the fact that it is just as much for the owners. And wandering, what on earth are you attempting to say? Because I know of more than a few scenic bike trails for you to tour around on, starting with that GIGANTIC Hub trail the city just built...
CTgasman 5/8/2014 9:42:15 PM Report

I am glad that they are finally building a safe dog park. Sad to see people complain about the area, or where it should have been. This seems to go round and round like a dog chasing its tail. We all know the reasons why it can't be at topsail, give it up already..!
soowat 5/8/2014 9:45:25 PM Report

Yeah,I, a non-dog owner, am going anywhere near top sail Island. I have no desire to face the possibility that some free wheeling,off leash Fido will chomp on some part of my anatomy,nor do I feel like wading through doggy doo-doo. $45,000 of my tax dollars for a dog park, That is the dumbest waste of money this council has come up with yet
grandmahas2 5/8/2014 9:57:32 PM Report

Very glad to see we are a getting a dog park. I am sure they will put in a wading pool for the dogs to cool off. And as for top sail Island there is more goose poop than dog poop I won't take my golden there.
LongBean 5/8/2014 10:28:21 PM Report

Well i hope there will be less dog crap all over bellevue park, i remember goen there as a kid and watchen out for goose turds all over the dang place..... now you cant even go to the island without stepping in dog crap..
irishfey 5/8/2014 10:59:45 PM Report

dadal... ' local kill shelter?".. Idiot!!.. Grow up,, you should apologize to the Humane Society!!!!
markbernard 5/8/2014 11:03:39 PM Report

See? Took 9 minutes from my original post for that. I love the responses in this city... "I want things to be exactly the way I want them to be! And I pay taxes! So the tens of thousands of other people in this city had better want EXACTLY what I want as well or else you are gonna hear me gripe about how my tax dollars are being spent regardless of the fact that they are such a small percentage of the tax dollars being spent overall!! RAWR!"


"I am going to piss and moan about an area being used for something when I want to use it for something else, albeit I will probably never actually go there in reality. But so help me god if you come up with a solution to this problem, I am going to be so angry about that solution as well! In fact EVERYONE in this damn city should just cease to exist! I am the CHAMP, and the ONLY one who matters so if my needs are not satiated 100% of the time I am going to type about it on sootoday until someone listens dammit!"
Mr. Poster 5/8/2014 11:17:53 PM Report

All in favour of a dog park...but...if a dog bites another...or a there city insurance coverage or are you on your own?
markbernard 5/8/2014 11:29:26 PM Report

I would assume it is the same as any other instance where that can potentially happen in this city. If I get jumped at Bellevue park I don't think I can sue the city because of the actions of individuals, so I don't see why the city would be any more responsible for the activities of the animals on their property than the people. I could be completely off-base with that though, I am not an expert on civil law.
David Poluck 5/9/2014 6:17:26 AM Report

Congratulations and best wishes to the LOLDOGS team. Good to see that what you envisioned long ago will soon become a reality.
Thank you for your time and effort in proving yet again how hard work and perseverance can move mountains!

Way to go!

1130 5/9/2014 7:51:28 AM Report

I hope the city hires someone to clean up after the pets because there is a mess at the current park, land mines all over, just the other day a moron was mentioning at a local doctors office he has had the same doggy bag for years, bragging he pretends to pick up after his pet.
Sammy1099 5/9/2014 8:20:02 AM Report

"bragging he pretends to pick up after his pet."

I am a dog owner and that behaviour does not reflect the typical owner. All it takes it two or three idiots who don't pick up after their dogs to completely load an area with crap.

I always pick up after my dog as do most owners. I have no more desire to step in crap then anybody else.
Sammy1099 5/9/2014 8:24:51 AM Report

I should also mention well we are on the subject of messes at the park. I've seen couches and other household junk dumped there. I've constantly seen messes from people who take their kids there for picnics and leave drinking boxes, snack packeges and other junk all over. Meanwhile there is a garbage can 10 to 20ft away. Nice example for the kiddies.
ti-guy 5/9/2014 8:30:05 AM Report

and I'm sure you took the time to tell that person, just like you took the time to tell us....kudos to you.
boilertyme 5/9/2014 8:59:15 AM Report

As far as the " landlines" go, pour a little chicken or bacon grease on them and they will quickly disappear . Lol
bellastar 5/9/2014 10:21:02 AM Report

Im super happy we are finally getting a dog park. I agree that the location is less then desirable, but maybe one dog will lead to another if successful.
Plasma_X 5/9/2014 11:45:01 AM Report

MarkBernard: Soowat is one of those uneducated twits you were referring to. I go to topsail all the time and have never once even came close to stepping in dog poo. As for those freewheeling, crazy crotch biting fidos - come on! You live in Northern Ontario where you can have bears and moose in your back yard! I suppose you give the geese at the park a wide berth as well. You never know - one of them might dismember you with their vicious honking bills.
soogirl91 5/9/2014 12:37:04 PM Report

It makes me laugh to see people complain about not being able to go to topsail for fear of a dog biting them or stepping in poo. Why not ask the cross country skiers how many times they've been bitten by one of the dogs off leash? The dogs could care less about people walking around them, they are too excited to be playing with the other dogs. And as far as poo goes I've never seen another dog owner leave their dogs waste because there are too many of us to offer up a bag. There are exceptions like when you go to pick it up and can't find it, yes it does happen and there is not much you can do when you can't find it. I'll continue to take my dogs to topsail.. And my dogs will continue to ignore the other people and go about their business. But congrats to LOLDOGS on their hard work in raising money for the park, its a good cause and if it wasn't so far out of the way I'm sure I'd use it.
Gumby54 5/9/2014 12:58:19 PM Report

Although it is good to see that they are going to designate an area for dogs, it is extremely sad to see that a group so interested in having the park could not raise the amount of money they promised they would when they originally approached Council for the funds. At that time they were adamant that to raise the additional funding would be no problem as long as Council would give them the $45K seeding funds. With all the dog owners advocating the need for such a facility WHY is it that council ( read taxpayer)must now give them additional funds? Don't blame not getting a lottery license etc - these other things should have been looked at BEFORE approaching council not after. It never ceases to amaze that in the ask for stage, everyone is on board but when there is work to raise the additional capital there are few who want to help. Typical "Let the taxpayer pick up the slack for minority groups"
missmessh 5/9/2014 3:03:21 PM Report

Personally, I will be glad when I can take my dog to topsail island for a walk, without having an unleashed dog come up to my leashed dog.. I will not go to topsail island with my dog because there are too many dogs running around with no leashes on, and I am the one getting yelled at because I have come to a dog park... But please tell me where there, it says this is a dog park, please enter at your own risk?? I do like the idea of a dog park.
soowat 5/9/2014 6:00:05 PM Report


You are of course aware that twit is an acronym for Truly Wise Individual Tolerating Stupidity. Thanks for the compliment
Wild Turkey 5/10/2014 4:41:48 AM Report

Irish Frey----Do you know how many cats and dogs were Liquidated at the shelter last year and then dumped in the Landfill?Somebody should be exporting them to China, or Viet-Nam, where they are at least used as a resource( food).
You owe "Dadal" an apology.
sportsfan17 5/10/2014 5:31:29 AM Report

Hey "Soowat".

Technically, if you wanna talk about your portion of the $45,000 in tax dollars, you're really only talking about a measly 50 cents at the most. So I tell you what. I'll write you a cheque for 50 cents to pay for your portion so you don't have to waste your tax dollars, you contribute that to the education you clearly need and we can all go home happy!

Deal? :)

And only a true twit would sit there and come up with that response. Confidence issues much?
Frio 5/10/2014 7:22:04 AM Report

@ mark bernard "that GIGANTIC Hub trail the city just built" is also used by many dog owners as can been observed by the covering of dog droppings that appeared as the snow melted. The city had to power wash the section thru Bellvue Park starting from Pine St. Marina because of all the ignorant irresponsible dog owners using it for a dog dump and go. Same as the section between the Holy Cross School and Cambridge Place and Fort Creek. As for the excuse that the geese droppings are on the trails or park, they are wild birds, they have no owner that is required to be picking up after them. Dog owners Police yourselves and clean up after your dogs and those of the lazy deadbeats.. Even the fakers that bag up a turd, then throw it off a little later when they think nobody will see it.
markbernard 5/10/2014 3:50:54 PM Report

Right Frio, and all of those areas have garbage laying all over the place from ignorant people who just drop things where ever they deem appropriate while they are walking. So we should ban all people from using them as well since obviously it is every single person out there that is doing this?

But besides that, the point of your argument is that we should have an area for dogs to run so that they don't "dump and go" all over the HUB trail? Or are you just telling everyone that you stepped in dog crap and this upset you? Because I really see nothing relevant to the story in your post...
Frio 5/10/2014 10:52:55 PM Report

@markbernard."Because I know of more than a few scenic bike trails for you to tour around on, starting with that GIGANTIC Hub trail the city just built"You make it sound like city money was used to pay for the bike riders to have an exclusive scenic tour trail so the dog owners where entitled to money for a off leash dog park. I have no problem with city money being used for a dog park.. That the GIGANTIC Hub trail is covered in dog shit, from the numerous dog owners who use it as an off leash dog run and don't clean up after their dogs as required is a very obvious problem. I have covered most of the Hub trail and have yet to see bike parts or garbage left anywhere on the trail from bike owners, but I sure have seen a lot of dog dumps left by dog owners using the Hub trail. I see it relevant that many dog owners allow their dogs to run off leash anywhere they feel like it and fail to clean up after them, and the dog park will make little if any difference to those irresponsible people.
Thunderstruck 5/11/2014 12:53:28 AM Report

Glad to hear there is going to be a dog park here in Sault Ste Marie as they have been successful throughout Ontario on so many levels! Could we not have found a location where one did not have to drive a car to visit a park to WALK your pet?
Does it really need to be beside our friendly animal control office?
I agree that Top Sail would have been a great place to add the dog "play" area. But thank you to the group that put forward the effort to get the first dog park going.
Frio 5/11/2014 9:09:25 AM Report

"and all of those areas have garbage laying all over the place from ignorant people who just drop things where ever they deem appropriate while they are walking" You said that right, Mark Barnard, and from all the dog dumps left behind you and everybody knows the dog owners are the same ones leaving their garbage "wherever they deem appropriate"! Nobody leaves as much sign of their passing as the irresponsible dog owners.. If they use the new dog park they will expect city workers to clean up after them because it is on city property and funded by city funds.
markbernard 5/11/2014 2:08:14 PM Report

I never said there wasn't irresponsible dog owners, I said that you seem to be grouping everyone into a category because of the ones who make a mess. I for one have never left any of my dog's shit behind while I was out walking him where ever we have gone. And I have seen PLENTY (I can write words in all caps too) of garbage all over the HUB trail, Bellevue Park, the Boardwalk and Hiawatha as well... candy wrappers, pop cans, chip bags, cigarette butts etc... no, no bike parts though, you're correct about that (which is possibly the dumbest thing I have ever heard what bikes randomly fall apart?)

All I have ever had an issue with is people like you saying "all you dog owners" It is not all dog owners, why should I be looked upon in a negative fashion because other people neglect to clean up after themselves? I don't associate all people with litter... And I get screamed at for walking my dog on his leash down the boardwalk. He doesn't run free through the HUB trail, yet I get attitude every time we walk there... You people without dogs like to cast blame and judgement everywhere you see fit. And I am sick of it...

And seriously? Barnard? You are going to run your mouth about my name? Anonymity is a powerful force isn't it? Takes a lot of balls to insult someone over the internet eh?
markbernard 5/11/2014 2:13:01 PM Report

Also, all of the people I meet up with to run our dogs clean up after their animal... To the point where if someone's dog is taking a dump, people call it out so the owner can be made aware... But I am done talking now, I am not continuing a conversation with someone who resorts to name calling. I don't think my fragile self esteem could handle anymore of your witty comments... "Barnard"... If you call me a stupid head next, we're mortal enemies.
Frio 5/11/2014 3:43:39 PM Report

If you read and comprehend better then you wouldn't have an issue thinking everybody is including "all dog owners" in the behaviour of some dog owners..Nowhere did I ever say "all dog owners". I did say "irresponsible dog owners" in reference to those dog owners who leave their dogs shit on the trails and on public property and if you are a responsible dog owner and you pick up every time after your dog you have no need to be getting your knickers in a twist. Nowhere did I make an all inclusive statment like this one from you "You people without dogs like to cast blame and judgement everywhere you see fit". I used capital letters exactly how you used them in your posts, as in GIGANTIC hub trail. As for your attitude toward people who don't agree with your view these little jems are found in your first post "horde of half-educated twits" and "cue the morons"....Maybe that is why you think people give you attitude when you are out with your dog too? I wasn't deliberately meaning to pull your chain, I misspelled Bernard, sorry about that.
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