Paws in Parks

The Paws in Parks program balances the needs of all park users, including dogs.

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. There are 12 off-leash parks in Victoria.

Paws in Parks sites have specific areas and times for dogs to exercise off-leash, provided they remain under their owner's control and that owners carry a leash with them at all times. With the exception of designated off-leash areas and private property, all dogs must be on a leash in the City of Victoria.

Each Paws in Parks site includes signage, a dispenser stocked with biodegradable doggie bags, and a trash bin.

Find  off-leash areas in Victoria: Off-Leash Parks in Victoria 2016.pdf [PDF - 499 KB]

Learn more about Paws in Parks: Paws in Parks brochure [PDF - 464 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 here and 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.

No Dog Areas

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.

Increased Dogs Off-Leash Education and Enforcement
at Dallas Road Pathway and Beacon Hill Park

Dallas Road Pathway is a popular spot for walkers and joggers, tourists, and dog owners exercising their pets. The greenspace between Douglas Street and Clover Point is considered part of Beacon Hill Park, and contains the only area of the park where dogs are permitted to be off-leash.

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 (towards the water). 

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. Improved signage will be also posted in the area to to remind users of the off-leash regulations and to clarify the on-leash portions of the park.

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. Signs are posted reminding users of the off-leash rules, along with dispensers of biodegradable doggie bags and trash bins.

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.

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 and will continue until the end of September, during the time when the area is most popular.