Willoughby Park Off-Leash Site Change Request

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As community needs and activities change, there could be opportunities to alter the status of a park and add, remove or alter an off-leash area within the City.

The City of St. Albert received a change request to remove the existing off-leash area designation for Willoughby Park, including access to the off-leash boarded rink, as per the Animal Bylaw – 11/2013.

The completed change request application was jointly submitted by Keenooshayo Public Elementary School, Keenooshayo School Council, Neil M. Ross Catholic Elementary School, and Neil M. Ross School Council. In filing the change request the applicants noted the following:

  • Ongoing and historic safety concerns between off-leash dogs and students.
  • Ongoing and historic conflict between off-leash dog owners and school staff.
  • Unclear boundaries between off-leash areas and school property.
  • Ongoing issues with dog feces being tracked into the school and leaving spaces within the park unsuitable for use.

An online survey was available from February 14 to 27 for the community to provide its input on this change request. Thank you to everyone who provided their feedback.

To learn more about how a change request is processed, view the process details and flowchart diagram.


As community needs and activities change, there could be opportunities to alter the status of a park and add, remove or alter an off-leash area within the City.

The City of St. Albert received a change request to remove the existing off-leash area designation for Willoughby Park, including access to the off-leash boarded rink, as per the Animal Bylaw – 11/2013.

The completed change request application was jointly submitted by Keenooshayo Public Elementary School, Keenooshayo School Council, Neil M. Ross Catholic Elementary School, and Neil M. Ross School Council. In filing the change request the applicants noted the following:

  • Ongoing and historic safety concerns between off-leash dogs and students.
  • Ongoing and historic conflict between off-leash dog owners and school staff.
  • Unclear boundaries between off-leash areas and school property.
  • Ongoing issues with dog feces being tracked into the school and leaving spaces within the park unsuitable for use.

An online survey was available from February 14 to 27 for the community to provide its input on this change request. Thank you to everyone who provided their feedback.

To learn more about how a change request is processed, view the process details and flowchart diagram.

  • The Off-Leash Designation will Remain

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    In considering the request to de-designate Willoughby Park, including the boarded rink, the City balanced the concerns raised by the Applicants, with public input, and Council policies, legislative requirements, and administrative directions. The decision is to retain the current off leash designation.

    This decision acknowledges a continued need for the City to support the community in creating and sustaining public spaces that are welcoming and inclusive. It also acknowledges the City’s responsibility to clearly communicate shared use expectations and enforce the by-laws that govern these spaces.

    In the Key Documents section on the right side of this page, you can review the What We Decided document for more information and detail about the decision. And you can review the What We Heard Report for the overview of the public participation.

  • Survey Is Now Closed

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    The City of St. Albert thanks all participants in the Willoughby Park off-leash site change request survey. The survey is now closed and results will be posted in a What We Heard Report on this page. Stay tuned for details on when the report will be available.

  • Virtual Workshop - Video Now Available

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    The information gathered at the January 19, 2022 virtual workshop will be included in the What We Heard Report that will be posted soon.

    The focus of this virtual workshop was to:

    • Hear from participants about how they currently use Willoughby Park and the value it and the surrounding area may hold for them.
    • Identify challenges associated with interactions between dogs and people in the area.
    • Brainstorm potential actions or changes about the use of Willoughby Park.


    Following this workshop, an online survey will be open February 14 to 27 on this page.

    Watch the virtual workshop video

Page last updated: 28 Apr 2022, 12:38 PM