Beaches dog owners relieved to learn new leash law sign was a just a typo

Dogs will be free to roam the sand south of the snow fence this winter—as usual—at Kew-Balmy Beach, following a leash-law signage mixup that made waves among locals.

Municipal bylaw signs reading “leashed dogs allowed on beach only from November 1-March 31” were recently installed along the eastern leg of the boardwalk, and when images of the apparent rule change were posted on social media, east-enders mourned the loss of their dogs’ off-leash freedom.

“My poor off-leash dog has been waiting all year for this,” said one Facebook user.

“This is why we can’t have nice things,” wrote another.

For years the southernmost strip of Kew-Balmy Beach has been treated as an off-leash dog park during the colder months, when the beach is seldom used by people. When word of the signs spread Wednesday, upset dog owners were quick to start encouraging a letter-writing campaign, decrying a lack of public consultation by City Hall.

“It’s not good right? The dogs need to run!” Catherine Smuck told CTV News Toronto at the beach Wednesday. “When they’re designated to certain areas, it gets a little crazy I feel.”

But as hundreds of social media comments poured in, a parks and recreation staff member appeared at the snow fence to remove the signs in question. The City of Toronto confirmed to CTV News Toronto that incorrect signs had been installed and were being replaced with corrected versions.

“There is no change to the dogs off-leash regulation at these locations,” a spokesperson said. “We apologize for any inconvenience.”

Online, dog owners rejoiced at the news.

“Freedom for dogs!” posted one user.

“Doggos are good to go!” said another.