One thing is for certain – Vancouverites love their dogs! And while most of us resort to a couple of quick daily jaunts around our own neighbourhoods, dog owners know that nothing makes the family pup happier than the opportunity to run free.
Fortunately, we have many beautiful and convenient spots where you and your dog can take in some of the city’s beauty. Here are a few of our favourite dog-friendly areas:
With a pond, a waterfall, lush greenery and a central location, there’s much to love about Charleston Park along the False Creek Seawall. Because it flanks such a busy walkway, there are some rules here: No dogs in the duck pond, no matter how tempting, and off-leash times are limited to morning and after 5 pm June to September.
999 Charleston at Laurel Street
Emery Barnes Park
It may not be the prettiest of dog parks, but it doesn’t get much more urban, or central, than this park located in the middle of Yaletown. The dog area is pebble, not grass, but it is fenced in, keeping errant pups away from the busy streets that flank the park on all sides. There are a number of coffee shops in the area which makes it a great place to grab a cup and dog-watch on your coffee break.
Davie and Richards
Fraser River Dog Park
As the name suggests, this park is located along the edge of the Fraser River, at the foot of Angus and 75th. Its slightly out-of-the-way location makes for a nice quiet spot to stroll and enjoy the scenic river views. It also has free parking and well-maintained walkways for walkers and runners. Not all of this park is off-leash, so be sure to heed the signs.
Angus and 75th Avenue
While dogs aren’t allowed on many of Vancouver’s beaches, there are a few places where they are allowed to roam free. The dog beach near Vanier Park and the Maritime Museum is a Locate favourite. Not only is it quite central, it has beautiful views of the downtown core from across the water. The other advantage is that the beach area is relatively contained, making it a bit easier to keep track of pups gone wild.
1905 Ogden Avenue, at Chestnut
Spanish Banks Beach Park
When you take a stroll along Spanish Banks on a sun-filled day, memories of Vancouver rain immediately get washed away. One of the most beautiful places to taken in the ocean and the city, Spanish Banks also has a large grassy area and an entire beach devoted to our four-legged friends. But be forewarned: Come summer, the area is packed. And, come low-tide, you’ll be taking home one sandy, muddy (though very happy) pup.
4900 NW Marine Drive
Sunset Beach Park
Across the water from Hadden Park, and behind Vancouver Aquatic Centre, Sunset Beach Park is another great spot to give your dog some water access. With spectacular views of English Bay and Vanier Park, it’s a great place to let your pup roam free before or after you do a loop around the Stanley Park seawall, which is an on-leash area.
1204 Beach Avenue (at Bute)
Located in the middle of one of Vancouver’s poshest neighbourhoods, this park is relatively quiet and very wet, oops, we mean west, coast. Because it’s located in a low-lying area, it can be quite swampy during the colder, wetter months. Not that your dog is likely to care but we do recommend wearing rubber boots. The park can feel quite secluded at times, making it the perfect place to escape from city life. And because it is quieter, it can be a good choice for dogs who don’t play as well with others.
4000 Southwest Marine Drive
Trout Lake (aka John Hendry) Park
East side residents flock to the picturesque Trout Lake for walks, picnics, a quick game of catch, and in summer, even a swim. The off-leash area is contained to one side of the park: It runs from the north end of the lake, to the ball field on the west, to the football field to the east and the lake to the south. It’s pretty easy to figure out once you’re there. Trout Lake is also the scene of a growing dog meet-up that takes place in March.
3300 Victoria Drive
Looking for more dog-friendly locations in the city? This site is a good resource. And a final note, a reminder to follow all posted signs for off-leashed boundaries and times.