Ontario's first leash-free cat park a 'purr-fect' fit for St. Catharines

by Rob Lapensee, 01 Apr 2019

Update: We were just 'kitten!' The leash-free cat park isn't fur real.

Happy April Fools' Day.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the playful banter this morning for April Fools' Day, including those who shared names on www.EngageSTC.ca.(External link)

'Purr-haps' you should check out some of the great submissions! Just click the 'Name the Leash-Free Cat Park' tab above and see what was suggested..

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April 1, 2019 - Here's some 'paws-itive' news for cats and cat lovers in St. Catharines: the City is proposing to build Ontario's first leash-free cat park on South Drive in the Old Glenridge neighbourhood.

Mayor Walter Sendzik announced on April 1 that he'll introduce a motion at City Council tonight that proposes a portion of Glen Ridge Park be converted into a leash-free cat park that will feature a variety of amenities, including climbing areas and perches, oversized balls of yarn, all-weather cardboard boxes, scratching posts, interactive laser pointers and more.

"We already have leash-free dog parks and Dog Run street parties on St. Paul Street so it's time to invest in something for our cats and cat owners here in St. CAT-hrines," said Mayor Sendzik. "By building Ontario's first leash-free cat park for cat owners to enjoy with their pets in a beautiful, natural environment, we are following the 'fur-midable' leadership shown last year by the Mayor of Winnipeg.

"The time is 'meow' that we put the cat back in St. Catharines."

Happy April 1st (April Fools Day)

While not actually a recommendation in the City's Parks and Recreation Master Plan, creating more opportunities for cats and cat owners is part of the City vision for St. Catharines to be the most dynamic, innovative, sustainable, and livable city in North America. A leash free cat park will help create a dynamic community for everyone and builds on the City's Strategic Plan goals to strive for the highest quality of life for all citizens and to connect people, places and neighbourhoods.

"We've heard from residents that St. Catharines 'litter-ally' needs the same level of service for cats that dogs enjoy," said Phil Cristi, the City's director of Parks, Recreation and Culture Services. "A leash-free cat park offers a place where cats can roam free socialize with each other and cat owners can can meet 'fur-iends' and build 'clawsome' connections to others in the community."

There is currently no timeline for when the leash-free cat park will open to the public. Residents can offer suggestions for great names for a leash-free cat park by clicking on the 'Name the Leash-Free Cat Park' tab above and leaving their comments.

Stay tuned for more information.

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