I live in Toronto. There is a by-law that all dogs should be on a leash when inside one of the city parks. But nobody follows this. People with big dogs let the dogs run free and they sometimes get too close for comfort.

Pointing out the law to the owner results in unpleasant conversations, involving expletives. The owners treat the parks as their own backyard, without any concern for others.

What should I do? Should I consult the Toronto Parks department? I am not too sure of getting any answer.

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    This is an interesting question. The specifics here are about pets, but general issue of observing people not following laws and picking a productive way to respond to that situation is one that I find fascinating. – Jason Aller Jul 15 '15 at 17:52

According to this press release, Toronto is "stepping up enforcement" of its leash by-law. You should call 311 to report violations:


You can find more information here:



You can find a list of areas where dogs are permitted to be unleashed here:


I note, however, that the press release says that "A dog is considered running at large if it is unleashed, off its owner's property and not under its owner's control." Reading this strictly, where all three conditions must be met, a dog owner is permitted to unleash a dog if it is still possible for the owner to control the dog. I don't know how the courts have interpreted this, but it could certainly be interpreted very widely.

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  • How to report violation?I can call and if someone answers, I will give them a description of the dog and owner? Does anything ever come out of this? – Victor Jul 15 '15 at 18:38
  • @Victor, I don't know. I live in New York City, so I can only give my experiences with the NYC 311 system, which are, no doubt, of roughly zero predictive value. You could give it a try and report back by posting an answer to your own question. – phoog Jul 15 '15 at 19:03

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