If there's one thing that White Rock residents love, it's their dogs. On even the dreariest of days, you'd be hard-pressed to not see at least a handful of people walking the promenade with their pooch at any given time of the day.
With that in mind, the City of White Rock will be increasing what local dog owners are able to do with their beloved pets, by creating the city's first off-leash dog park.
Set to open at the end of the month, the off-leash area will be located at Ruth Johnson Park and will be White Rock's first off-leash dog park.
"The idea came about from some discussions earlier in the year and late last year about the number of residents looking for an off-leash dog park," said Dan Bottrill, White Rock's city manager. "It's been brought forward to council meetings earlier in the year and so it was something we wanted to take a look at and create and so we've done that."
According to Bottrill, the first step was deciding on where to put the park.
"So it was a bit of a process of elimination in recognizing what opportunities were available and what properties would be conducive to a dog park," said Bottrill.
After looking at potential spots in the city's various parks, Bottrill and city planners eventually decided upon Ruth Johnson Park.
"There are some flat areas in Johnson Park and ultimately we made the decision to place it in Johnson Park just in between the Mel Edwards building and the playground," said Bottrill.
"It's a fairly good sized property and there is a lot of clear space back there as well as a lot of trees, so it will be an interesting space and a good space."
When asked if the park would open the potential for more off-leash areas in White Rock, Bottrill said that, for now, they were just looking at the one site.
"At this point I think we're just going to focus on creating the one and seeing where it goes," he said. "We're responding to a need in the community and council's desire to establish a dog park so we're just making sure we deliver."
Residents looking to make use of the park must first wait for the city to put up the fencing around the area, at which point the park will then be open for use, likely before the end of the month.
"There's a number of people that have dogs that want to avail themselves of that amenity and we're happy as a community to provide that," said Bottrill.