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Dogs’ fun in the sun coming to an end on Willows Beach

Summer restrictions return to popular Oak Bay beach May 1
The time is drawing near for the no dogs on Willows Beach rule to take effect (May 1), but on a recent evening in Oak Bay, these two four-legged friends were fine to horse around on the sand. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Every dog has its day. But for pooches who love playing in the surf and sand along Willows Beach, those days come to an end May 1.

Dogs are prohibited on the popular beach located at the foot of Dalhousie Street (whether leashed or off-leash) between May 1 and Sept. 30.

“It’s just so people can enjoy the beach without a dog taking a pee on a log next to them,” said Chris Hyde-Lay, manager of Oak Bay’s parks services.

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He said the summer restrictions at Willows have been around for the 25 years he has worked for the district, with the transition usually going pretty smoothly.

“It’s been a little bit of a challenge this year only because we’ve had this unseasonable weather and the beaches have been really busy,” said Hyde-Lay.

He said there may be a few stragglers on the beach after May 1 who are unaware of the restrictions but they are usually pretty coopertative once they’ve been informed.

While Willows may be off limits for canine summer fun, there are a few spots around the district where dogs can enjoy spashing in the waves.

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“They can still find a place to cool down,” said Hyde-Lay.

Dogs are permitted year-round at Loon Bay Park (off Beach Drive at the end of Exeter Road), Cattle Point (across from Uplands Park), Haynes Park (near the end of Beresford Street), Marina Park Beach, McMicking Point (foot of Newport Avenue) and McNeil Bay Beach (300-block of Beach Drive).


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Dan Ebenal

About the Author: Dan Ebenal

Throughout my career, I've taken on roles as a reporter and editor in more than a dozen newsrooms across the province.
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