It’s a beautifully breezy mid-July afternoon, and your beloved pooch just arrived from the groomers. His or her heavy fur coat is gone, and they are free to run around outside without succumbing to the heat. They’re used to flopping in the shade and panting after a thirty-second jog, but now with their new haircut, they deserve an extra long walk.
Where do you take your canine best friend? To the river trails? Around your neighbourhood? Downtown? It’s almost impossible to decide which area to take your dog to in our beloved Forest City. That is is likely because we are so fortunate to live in a town that is home to over 200 parks and 100 kilometres of trails and green spaces. With winter coming to an end, we’re eager for those hot afternoons spent outside with our pups.
The options are endless! We’ve talked to numerous Londoners to find out which parks are the best for you and your dog! If you have further suggestions, please comment on this post! After all, I think our office dog Maya would appreciate any and all suggestions for an afternoon out basking in the sun.
2A Grosvenor St. (map)
Gibbons Park is one of the most expansive green spaces in the city. It has a ton to offer including trails right along the river, recreational basketball and tennis courts and trails to walk your dog. It has been a family favourite destination for years in London. Also it is a popular spot for downtown-based summer camps to visit on day trips. Whether it’s walking or running with the dog, feeding the ducks or having a lazy afternoon – Gibbon’s Park is always a safe spot to go with your pup!
Neighbourhood: Downtown London
580 Clarence St. (map)
As beautiful as it is imperative to London’s culture and history, Victoria Park is a favourite place to take dogs. It is located in the middle of the city and has been the venue of concerts, festivals and events for much of London’s history.
Dogs love Victoria Park park as it is full of pathways primarily canopied by towering trees. There are numerous tables throughout the green space making for a pleasant walk with spots to sit and have a picnic or just to take a breather from the heat!
Pet owners beware: this isn’t the best spot to avoid other dogs, so if yours doesn’t do so well with other pets it’s probably best to avoid this park.
Situated just twenty minutes west of London, Komoka Provincial Park boasts some of the most beautiful trails along the river. Disclaimer: if you don’t like paying for your parking, then avoid making the trek out here (even though it’s totally worth the $6).
The trees are so built up and broad that they tower above trail-goers and provide just the right amount of shade with spots to catch the warm sun in between. You can come here for a short or long walk, really get a work out in if you try (there are numerous slopes and hills), and take in the undeniable serenity of the preserved provincial park!
11 St. Johns Drive (map)
Weldon Park is about five minutes north of London in the small community of Arva. It offers expansive green spaces and most importantly, an off-leash area for the dogs! Aside from green areas, there are plenty of recreational sport facilities such as baseball diamonds, tennis and basketball courts. Because of this, Weldon Park attracts numerous people in the warmer months. The beauty is consistent all year round, and the trails always make for a lovely walk.
How could we not include the one and only Springbank Park in this list? This widely expansive park (140 hectares) is situated along the Thames River and boasts 30km of trails! It is the ideal spot to take your dog as they’ll never get bored snooping around the trails, lazing out by the river and taking in the scenery. From rollerbladers to bikers to hikers and dog walkers, this park is busy. Especially in the warmer months! Because of this, it’s an excellent place to go only if your dog is friendly to its fellow canines along the trails.
Neighbourhood: Riverbend Community
1615 N Routledge Park #23 (map)
Located in the southwest end of London, Kains Woods is a preserved area of town complete with trails situated along the Thames River bend. This ESA stretches across 28 hectares of land. Many joggers enjoy these trails and are often greeted by pet-owners out for a stroll with their dog!