More dog-friendly beaches approved for Kelowna

Posted by on Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 at 3:15pm.


While you’re packing your bikini away for another year, the City of Kelowna is planning a dog-gone good summer for 2017.

Kelowna residents have been asking the city to create more dog-friendly beaches around Lake Okanagan.  Places where dogs can romp in the sand and swim in the water without breaking any by-laws.  The City has complied and would like to designate three new beaches where owners and their pups can while away the hours.

The move has the support of about half Kelowna residents.  Council pushed through the idea because its working to create a vibrant downtown area by making the city centre a more attractive place to live. Keeping dog-owning downtown-dwellers happy is part of this plan.

There has just been one beach area in Kelowna were dogs and their owners could chill at the beach and it wasn’t handy to downtown.  People had to drive to the Mission district to get to water and for some, it was a half hour trip each way.

Starting Summer 2017, dogs will be allowed on the beach and in the water at Poplar Point by Knox Mountain, at a small area next to the Sails downtown and at the beach access off Lake Avenue.  The latter is in a residential area and in response to residents’ concern about dogs running amok on private property, the city has agreed to put up a fence for that portion of the beach that dogs are allowed upon. To ease dissension, the City has said that the Lake Avenue beach access point will be a pilot project and in 2019 it will come under review.

However, the fence can’t go into the lake itself.  It also can’t stop other things besides the dogs from getting into the water, such as ringworm.  Despite some of the problems people are anticipating, council still voted 5-3 to allow dogs at these three Kelowna area beaches.

The cost for fencing and for signage indicating the allowances for dogs will cost the City of Kelowna about $50,000.

Dog Parks in Kelowna

In the last survey of the City of Kelowna in 2012, 38% of residents own one or more dogs.  There are more than 14,000 licensed canines in the city.

There are seven parks in the city where dogs can run off-leash. They’re open from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm daily and are fenced, except for Cedar Creek.

  • Glenmore Off-Leash area – 1250 Glenmore Road North
  • Ellison Fields – 4680 Old Vernon Road
  • Enterprise – 2500 Enterprise Way
  • Knox Mountain – 450 Knox Mountain Drive
  • Duggan Park (for small dogs only) - 1494 Bernard Avenue
  • Mission - 3974 Gordon Drive with a separate area for small breeds
  • Cedar Creek – 5200 Lakeshore Road
  • Rowcliffe Park (temporary park) – 536 Rowcliffe Avenue
  • Rutland Recreation Park (temporary park) – 375 Hartman Road

Rules for Kelowna’s Off-Leash Parks

  • Owners and handlers must be in control and in sight of their animals at all times. Animals must be trained for owner recall.  Animals must be removed at the first sign of hostile behaviour or aggression.
  • Everyone must pick up waste created by their animals, without exception.
  • Use of Kelowna dog parks is at the user’s risk. The City of Kelowna is not liable for damage created or injury sustained on city property to human or animals. All dogs must be legally licensed and shall wear a visible dog license.
  • Dogs must be vaccinated and all shots up to date.
  • Dogs are the only animals allowed on off-leash parks.
  • Puppies younger than 4 months are not allowed.
  • Female dogs in heat are not allowed.
  • Owners and handlers can not be younger than 15 years of age.
  • Children younger than 15 have to with a responsible adult.

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