Keeping man’s best friend healthy and active means daily exercise and outdoor time. Having a safe place to run, play, and socialize with other dogs is important for their development, and Mississauga’s off-leash dog parks provide the perfect place for them to have friendly interactions and adventures.
Especially during this uncertain time, studies show that interacting with animals can decrease levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) and lower blood pressure. Animals can also reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support, and boost your mood.
Dog parks are designated areas where owners and guardians can let their canines run off-leash and allow them to learn appropriate behaviour from the other animals there—all within a safe and controlled environment.
All of the leash-free dog parks in Mississauga are run by volunteers at Leash-Free Mississauga and all costs associated with it are paid for through the organization. You do not need a membership to visit any of the parks, but donations are appreciated!
Jack Darling Dog Park
Hours: 7am-9pm | Lakeshore Road West and Lorne Park Road
Jack Darling, in South Mississauga, is likely the most popular dog park in the city. Rosemary Aldridge, dog walker and owner of Home Alone Pet Service loves this park for the dogs she cares for. And it’s no wonder! With 22 acres for them to run and roam, it is one of the largest, fully-fenced dog parks in Ontario; a dream for pups that like to explore bigger territory. Completely fenced in with 4 separate entrances, there are benches and picnic tables for the humans to rest on, leafy trees with shaded areas, and a water station in case Fido needs a drink. To the west of the main dog park, is an off-leash small dog area. If your pup is under 25 lbs, this is a safe place for them to befriend other small dogs. With its green pathways and open spaces, you’ll find your dog begging to stay!
Lakeside Dog ParkHours: 5:30am-midnight | 2266 Lakeshore Road West
Another much-loved space, Lakeside Dog Park, is located on the shores of Lake Ontario. With beautiful views of the water, it is fully-fenced with wheelchair access. Although much smaller than Jack Darling, there are still 1.6 acres for your dog to chase a ball and stretch their legs. Located beside the splash park, it’s the perfect family outing, with picnic tables and bathroom access year-round.
Quenippenon Dog ParkHours: 7am-7pm | 2625 Erin Centre Blvd.
“Q Park”, as the locals refer to it, is a smaller dog park north of Erin Mills Town Centre. Still fully-fenced, it is easily accessible and safe. It is usually not too busy, so if your pup is just getting used to roaming free at a dog park, it’s a great environment to enjoy an afternoon game of fetch!
Totoredaca Dog ParkHours: 8am-11pm | 2715 Meadowvale Blvd.
With all of the amenities this north Mississauga park boasts, any dog will tell you it’s another favourite! 3.5 acres of varying fenced terrain, a splash pool during the hot months, and even a platformed doggy wash station make this park pretty special. The small dog agility course and wooded areas offer lots for your pup to explore. There’s a sheltered area for owners to keep dry and a water station during summer.
Etobicoke Valley Dog ParkHours: 8am-11pm | 615 Horner Avenue, Etobicoke.
It may not look like much, but this park is a hidden gem. It’s off-leash but not fenced, so ensure that your dog has strong recall skills and a friendly demeanour. Does your dog love to get down in the dirt and roll in the mud? This natural setting full of trails, streams, and wildlife will be their doggy heaven.
By Kristen PSIHOGIOS
Leash Free Mississauga