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City of Toronto stepping up enforcement to keep dogs on leash


The City of Toronto is encouraging residents to be responsible pet owners and keep their dogs on a leash at all times. Last year, bylaw enforcement officers undertook a public education and enforcement blitz in July. This year, bylaw officers will focus on city-wide enforcement.

In Toronto, all dogs must be kept on a leash whenever they are on any property other than their owner’s, unless they are in one of the City’s 57 designated leash-free parks. Owners are responsible for ensuring that their dogs do not run at large. A dog is considered running at large if it is unleashed, off its owner’s property and not under its owner’s control.

In 2014, there were a total of 829 investigations regarding dogs running off-leash and 161 charges laid. This year, there have been 924 investigations and 39 charges laid. A fine of $360 can be issued for allowing a dog to run at large.

Owners are responsible for their dog and any injuries or damage caused by any dog in their care.

In order to use the City’s leash-free parks, dog owners must have vaccinated, licensed and neutered or spayed their dogs. Dogs that are aggressive to humans, dogs with a history of biting and other types of animals are not permitted in leash-free parks.

In addition to being leashed, all dogs in Toronto must be licensed. Licences cost $25 per year and are available online at

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.


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