Paws in Parks

There are 12 off-leash parks in Victoria.

Each has a specific area and time when dogs can exercise off-leash, and has a dispenser stocked with biodegradable doggie bags and a trash bin.

With the exception of these off-leash areas and private property, all dogs must be on a leash in the City of Victoria.

Find off-leash areas in Victoria: Off-Leash Area Map.pdf [PDF - 499 KB]

Rules to 'Paws' For

In addition to knowing when and where dogs are allowed off-leash, there are some simple rules for handlers to follow:

  • Make sure your dog is wearing a current licence tag on their collar.
    Learn more about licensing your dog, or pay for your dog licence online.
  • Pick up after your dog and dispose of waste in a garbage can.
  • Keep your dog outside of playground boundaries.
  • Do not allow your dog to dig holes in a City park.
  • Do not let your dog jump up on people.
  • Ensure you have control of your dog at all times, whether on or off-leash.

Paws in Parks provides off-leash access to accommodate the needs of dog owners to exercise their pets; to reduce the congestion of dogs and their owners along Dallas Road; and to ensure the basic needs of other parks users are not unduly compromised by off-leash areas.

Learn more about Paws in Parks: Paws in Parks brochure [PDF - 464 KB]

Spear Grass

Spear grass is a wild plant that thrives in the type of dry soils found in many green spaces during the summer months. The pointed seeds can become tangled in animals as they walk through the grass. To help your four-legged friend avoid spear grass, keep them out of tall, dry gassy areas. After a romp outside, brush their paws, ears and eyes.

The City has conducted several trials to control spear grass. The current proctice is to keep problem areas cut to a height of 50mm to slow the production of seeds.

No Dog Areas

Please note that no dogs, other than certified assistance dogs, are allowed on or off-leash in the following areas:

  • A small area of Beacon Hill Park (the heron rookery), located south of Good Acre Lake
  • Ross Bay Cemetery
  • Gonzales Beach between June 1 and August 31
  • Pioneer Square
  • Playgrounds with sand, rubber, or wood chips

Beacon Hill Park and Dallas Road Waterfront

Within Beacon Hill Park, dogs must be kept on-leash at all times and are not allowed in the Heronry at Good Acre Lake, at the Children's Petting Zoo, and at playgrounds in the park. Off-leash regulations are in place to prevent dogs from running uncontrolled along the pathway, bumping into people causing injury; and to protect wildlife in the park from being chased, such as peacocks, squirrels and deer that make Beacon Hill Park their home.

Dallas Road Waterfront Pathway is a popular spot for walkers and joggers, tourists, and dog owners exercising their pets. The off-leash area is located between Dallas Road and the pathway, from Douglas Street to Clover Point. Please note dogs are required to be on a leash when on the pathway and anywhere south of the pathway.

To balance the needs of all users of the pathway and park, the City of Victoria has additional Animal Control Bylaw presence during summer evenings and weekends to educate dog owners and ensure they have close supervision of their dogs and carry a leash at all times.

Dog owners who don't have proper control of their pet or who do not follow the dogs off-leash rules, can face a fine ranging from $100-$300. Increased patrols are currently underway through the summer, during the time when the area is most popular.