The new design of the Emery Barnes dog park in downtown Vancouver

Kenneth Chan | Daily Hive


The proposed detailed design of the new dog park area at the northernmost end of Emery Barnes Park in downtown Vancouver is now up for public consultation.

The complete rebuild of the existing dog park at Emery Barnes is one of three new and improved dog park locations eyed by the Vancouver Park Board, The other two locations at Granville Park and Heather Park will be new off-leash dog park areas replacing existing grass areas.

For Emery Barnes’ dog park’s transformation, the improvements are intended to not only meet the diverse needs of small and big dogs, but also add amenities for dog owners.

The Park Board is proposing to replace the existing fenced-off, off-leash open area’s gravel surface with new artificial turf surfacing. Other features within the existing fenced-off area include synthetic turf mounds, a rubber surface area with play equipment as an agility zone, and a drinking water and dog washing/rinsing station.

For improved accessibility, a new concrete pathway would be built inside the fenced-off area, along the perimeter of the open area.

For the added comfort of dog owners, a shade canopy and various seating areas would be added.

In addition to the overhaul of the existing fenced-off, off-leash area, the Park Board is proposing a dog park expansion by creating a smaller secondary fenced-off, off-leash area on an existing open green lawn adjacent to the current dog park footprint. This new small area, also covered with an artificial turf surface, would be dedicated to small and shy dogs.

The various new surfaces and features of the dog park will be durable and reduce maintenance issues. As well, additional trees and plantings across the dog park will help address public concerns over odour.

The Park Board states Emery Barnes is amongst its priorities for dog park improvements as it serves Vancouver’s second highest number of licensed dogs living within a one-km radius of an off-leash dog area.

An online survey on the Emery Barnes dog park design is open now through May 11, 2022. Collected public input will be used to finalize the concept plan, which will be sent to Park Board commissioners in Fall 2022 for approval.

This spring, construction will begin on the rebuild of the existing off-leash dog area at Coopers’ Park, located east of the north end of the Cambie Street Bridge on the Northeast False Creek waterfront. Based on the Park Board’s completed public consultation on the design in 2021, the new Coopers’ Park dog park includes a new secure perimeter fence, ample new amenities and play fixtures, separate areas for shy dogs, water play features, seating, covered outdoor areas, and a single-stall public washroom.

Also later this spring, the new Smithe-Richards urban public park is expected to reach completion and open.