Service Barrie Phone: (705) 726-4242ServiceBarrie@barrie.ca
In the event of an incident, please call Municipal Law Enforcement at 705-739-4241.
Dog Off-Leash Recreation areas (DOLRAs) are areas set aside for residents to exercise and socialize their dogs off-leash in a protected environment, without being in contravention of municipal by-laws.
Barrie currently has two DOLRAs. The City is assessing sites for potential additional sites. As details become available they will be included on this webpage.
Secure Fenced AreasThis DOLRA offers two separate, fenced areas: one for small dogs up to a maximum weight limit of 30 pounds (.25 acres); the other for all dogs, regardless of size/weight (1.8 acres).
Unsecured Natural AreaDogs are also permitted off-leash in the natural area beyond the pens. Perimeter fencing is installed but the area is not secure due to gaps under the fence line (as a result of uneven terrain), overland waterflows, and movements of small animals. Owners are advised to choose appropriately for their dog.
ParkingThe closest parking lot to the area's walk-in entrance is the north arena lot, but alternate parking is available in the south-east parking lot when the north lot is closed for arena events. When possible, the City communicates closure of the north lot via Facebook and
Sunnidale Park DOLRA is located in a natural, rolling setting with earthen footpaths and is NOT wheelchair accessible. The DOLRA is double-gated with 4' high wire mesh fencing. Parking is available at the Dorian Parker Centre or along Sunnidale Road. The total off-leash area is 2.89 hectares (7.15 acres) in size.
The Sunnidale Park DOLRA was closed on September 3, 2019 and will remain closed until late spring/early summer 2020.
The closure is required for two reasons:
Trails were reconstructed and a few new trails were created in fall 2019. Forestry & Parks staff will mulch as many trails as possible this spring to improve resident and visitor experience. A new fence will be installed once the ground has thawed. New signage and maps will installed when the site re-opens.
The construction of the new trail and the two bridges is now complete. The access from Coulter Street has been moved approximately 50m west of the parking lot. The Dog Off Leash Park remains closed.
The construction of two new bridges along the trail that leads to the Sunnidale DOLRA is underway. Once the bridges are complete a new trail will be built. This work is expected to be completed by the end of October, 2019 and the trails in the area will be reopened.
Sunnidale Park Master Plan (approved by Council in 2009) recognized the need for the periodic closure of the Sunnidale DOLRA, and rotating closures of other DOLRAs within the City. This was done so that sites can have a restoration and repair period, which is vital to the health of these park areas for optimal future use.
The bridge that was installed off the Coulter Street access point is temporary. The temporary bridge is being removed, and we are building two new, permanent bridges and a new trail to allow access across Kidd’s Creek. The first bridge (Bridge #1) is to address slip and fall concerns in the area, especially in the winter when the slope is icy. The second bridge (Bridge #2) is being constructed so that City maintenance vehicles can access Sunnidale Park to do sewer work. The bridge work is anticipated to take approximately three months.
The popularity of the Sunnidale site for dog owners was much higher than expected, which has taken a toll on the soil at the park. The site needs to close to allow for a rest period, soil and water testing, and park maintenance. As well, dog waste is a pollutant, so the potential for water contamination needs to be examined since there is a creek nearby.
Partial closures were considered by staff, but it’s not feasible because of amount of work required for the ecological repair and related works throughout the park (for example: seeding, planting and allow the fall/spring for establishment of seed and plant material). A partial closure could also do additional damage since more activity would occur in a concentrated area, and would likely necessitate a significantly longer delay of the full reopening of the DOLRA. The full closure was deemed to be the most efficient way to properly rehabilitate the park for long term public use.
The city is working with the contractor and incorporating some of their operational requirements. We have also heard the concerns of some residents who are regular users of the Sunnidale DOLRA and want to accommodate their needs, so the closure is planned to start on September 3, 2019 to allow the park to remain open during the summer months. It’s still expected that the site will be closed until late spring or early summer 2020.
There is another dog off-leash park located near the Barrie Molson Centre at 555 Bayview Dr. This park offers two separate, fenced areas: one for small dogs up to a maximum weight limit of 30 pounds; the other for all dogs, regardless of size/weight. Dogs are also permitted off-leash in the natural area beyond the pens at the Barrie Molson Centre dog park. Owners are advised to choose appropriately for their dog. For more information on the Barrie Molson Centre DOLRA, see below. The city also offers many opportunities for on-leash dog walking on City trails and in parks, and Council also recently approved a by-law update to allow dogs in all waterfront parks while on leash (excluding beach areas).
Poison Ivy is a naturally occurring plant in the natural areas in Barrie. It is found in both off-leash areas.
Learn to recognize poison ivy and avoid it by staying on existing trails. The City uses herbicides to remove poison ivy and signs are posted to warn residents when spraying occurs.
Pit-Bull-type dogs must be leashed and muzzled at all times pursuant to the amended Dog Owner's Liability Act. Leash-free areas are not exempt from the Act. Pit Bull owners are liable to fines of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to 6 months for contraventions. Report unmuzzled or unleashed Pit Bull Type Dogs to City of Barrie Enforcement Services at (705) 739-4241
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