Beaconsfield clamps down on dogs off leash


by Rhonda Massad

Since the closing of Fresh Meadows golf course countless years ago, the open area of field now belonging to the City of Beaconsfield, sandwiched between the Sunrise Seniors Facility and Angell Woods, has been used by pet owners as an off leash dog run. Though there has been a bylaw in place for many years forbidding dogs to run off leash, the City has looked the other way while dogs run freely on what is referred to as the Luger Triangle.

As a response to recent dog attacks on the South Shore of Montreal, Beaconsfield has sent out a warning to residents that dogs will be required to be on leash at all times from now on with zero tolerance anywhere in the City.  In fact, Beaconsfield’s public security has been present at various points to give warnings to walkers that fines will be imminent should they be found with their dogs off leash.

“Council must act responsibly and take reasonable measures to ensure the safety of our residents,” Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle stated. “We have decided not to act impulsively and ban dangerous dogs in Beaconsfield. We will act upon the recommendations of the Provincial Government when those recommendations  are released.”

Bourelle is of the mindset that Council could have gone ahead and issued fines immediately to people that do not conform.

“Instead, we are taking a softer approach by warning residents that there will be no tolerance,” he explained. “Of course, anyone that decides to defy our warning and not conform will definitely be fined. I must remind you that every dog in Beaconsfield must be licensed and without a licence means a contravention to our by-law and a fine.”

Bourelle feels a fenced in dog run would be a favourable solution to the problem and hopes residents will speak out to urge Council to spend the needed funds to build a dog run where dogs could run free.

Bourelle acknowledges that most of  Angell Woods continues to be private property even though it was designated ecological by Montreal a few years ago.  He also said that Beaconsfield has no jurisdiction over people trespassing to walk their dogs in the Angell Woods. 

Beaconsfield, Dog Run, Angell Woods, West Island Blog, Rhonda Massad, DogsLocal Beaconsfield resident and business owner, Paula Di Giovanni disagrees with the city’s approach.

“There are hundreds of people who walk their dog every day in this area,” Di Giovanni explained. “The signs are there that oblige you to walk your dog on a leash, but it is understood that dogs roam free. We have been doing this for years. Why the sudden change with no warning at all? It makes no sense. My dog is an active Rhodesian Ridgeback who loves and needs to run every day to be healthy, calm and well-balanced.  There is no other option like it.”

Di Giovanni does not see a fenced dog run as a solution.

“We already have too many fenced and underused dog runs on the West Island,” she said. “They are not a healthy environment for the majority of dogs.  By “confining” a group of dogs to a relatively small space, like fenced dog runs, social interaction can be strained and there is no escape except for leaving and that helps no one.”


  1. It is not fair that we now have to have our dogs on leashes. I have been going to Angell woods for almost 20 years with my dogs & have never encountered aggressive dogs. It’s a wonderful place for everyone to enjoy.

  2. Dogs need a place to run free — not confined fenced-in little dog runs. People have been happily walking their dogs at Angell Woods for 30 years without incident. For the city to suddenly threaten fines and post a security guard is insulting and disrespectful. I would expect more from the City of Beaconsfield. Very disappointing.

  3. I am very disappointed in the decision by Beaconsfield council to force all dogs to be on leach in Angel Woods. This decision is based on poor information by people that are obviously not dog people. My border collie/black lab mix needs to run and socialize with other dogs and this cannot be done on leash.

    “To Roger Moss – City Counciller
    date: Fri, Jun 17, 2016 at 10:32 AM
    Took my dog to Angel Woods this morning and discovered new signs warning that dogs need to be leashed. People have been taking their dogs to Angel Woods for 30 years or more. Angel Woods is one of the few places we can take our canine friends and let the run and play with other dogs and now city council wants to put a stop to this?

    Quebec has always been a dog unfriendly place but I thought that here in the West Island, especially Beaconsfield we were different.

    I would like to know who at City Council came up with this new policy and did you vote for it? Would also like to know when the next council meeting will be held.”

      • Went to the council meeting. Only 1 other person was there to give his displeasure at the new rules.

        Waste of time, the council members couldn’t care less about what we had to say. They plan to build a dog park in the area. One for small dogs and one for large dogs. I told them that is not what we want.

        :———- Forwarded message ———-
        From: Michael Curatolo
        Date: Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 9:06 PM
        Subject: Angel Woods – Dog owners have rights too!
        I was at the meeting tonight expressing my displeasure at the new enforcement of leash rules. I think it was you who said you received many complaints from your district and people being afraid of going through the field because of dogs.

        Can you tell me exactly how many complaints you received? Contrary to what the 2 women said I have yet to witness an aggressive dog at Angel Woods. I am sure that there are quite possible several hundred dog owners that take their dogs there, some regularly and some on occasion. In the morning and at the end of the day there are people walking to and back from the train and have never seen or heard of any issues.

  4. The problem is that when the dogs are allowed to roam free, they run into private residences. The issue is not whether or not the dog is aggressive but whether or not it stays in that area. Playful dogs jumping on you is just as traumatic, especially for young children. I personally am fearful of barking excited dogs and am fed up with dogs on my property.There are several homes on the border of this field where dogs enter private property, running around and chasing your cats. If an owner cannot control his or her dog, the former should be leashed. Sorry!!!


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