FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John City Council met on Monday and approved plans for a new off-leash dog park to be built at Toboggan Hill Park.

EDS Group Inc. presented a detailed design of the dog park to councillors, with the hopes of beginning construction late summer or early fall.

Detailed design plan from EDS. Photo provided by the City of Fort St. John.

EDS proposed that the treed area of Toboggan Hill Park along 93rd street be cleared out to make room for the new eight acre park. That area would consist of a year-round dog park, with three different spaces for miniature, small, and large dogs. The park would also include watering sites, picnic areas, and a public washroom that would be accessible to the skate park as well.

EDS Principal John Buchko explained that the park would feature paved and wood chipped walking areas for owners and their dogs with the paths being maintained year round.

There is already a small dog park at Toboggan Hill, but residents have complained that the gravel in the area hurts their dogs paws. 60 percent of residents surveyed said that the city of Fort St. John would benefit from a new dog park.

The City’s Communications Coordinator Ryan Harvey explained that Toboggan Hill will be the only dog park built this year, but there could be as many as three more built in the near future. The other sites that were deemed most suitable for possible future parks are:

Kin Park:

  • Pros: large area for dogs exercise.
  • Cons: Next to playground with many young children.
  • Priority: Medium term.
Kin Park dog park plan. Photo by the City of Fort St. John.

Motocross Track Park:

  • Pros: Room for a large and small dog area.
  • Cons: Small parking lot, large gulley, loud noises.
  • Priority: Long term.
Motocross track dog park. Photo by the City of Fort St. John.

RV Site Park:

  • Pros: Good for tourists, makes people traveling with dogs potentially stop in the city.
  • Cons: Next to highway, loud for dogs.
  • Priority: Near term.
RV site dog park. Photo by the city of Fort St. John.

Council voiced their pleasure at the safety of the parks as well as them being beneficial for residents and travelers with dogs.

“I like that the park is based around safety,” said councillor Lilia Hansen.

“The one by the sani-dump is good for travelers and people who live in that area,” said Mayor Lori Ackerman. “I like the idea of Toboggan Hill, Kin Park, and the RV lot.”