14th Avenue and 11th Street SW

Connaught, Calgary’s newest dog park, opened on 2 June 2016.  It’s an urban park, quite different from all others in the city.  At less than half of a city block, size is small but design is smart.  There are two fully fenced areas, one for small pooches and a separate area for the big boys.  Amenities include shaded picnic tables, plenty of benches, waste bins, and a cool water fountain serving both dogs and humans.

Textures are important for canine stimulation, and Connaught provides a bounty.  Concrete, gravel, grass, trees, shrubs, flowers and chunky cedar mulch give interest under paws, communicate scents in different mediums, and most importantly, are safe for dogs.  Solid efforts have been made in both hard and soft scaping that are aesthetically pleasing and peaceful.

I think this park is important for inner-city dwellers, who may not have transportation to get out to suburban off-leash areas, many of which are not served by public transit.  Sure, dogs can’t run a mile in any direction like they can at Edworthy, and there are no hidden quiet refuges like ones found at Sue Higgins, but Connaught offers something equally valuable:  socialization opportunities for both dogs and parents.  Jay, who would be a Walmart greeter if he were human, because he simply MUST welcome every creature - human, canine and otherwise, was in his glory at Connaught.  He cruised around bidding good will to everyone.  I was engaged by five different park patrons, three of whom didn’t even have dogs.  They were simply enjoying a resplendent summer day in a lovely park and the dogs added to their experience.

Connaught beautifully fills a gap in terms of offering citizens a comprehensive array of dog park environments in which to revel in the joy of their four-legged companions.