Etobicoke Valley Dog Park Review – An Off Leash Trail Oasis

Etobicoke Valley Dog Park Review – An Off Leash Trail Oasis

Situated just west of Hwy 427 and Dundas St E, Etobicoke Valley Dog Park is less of a dog park and more of a rugged terrain filled with lush foliage, wildlife, fruit trees, and of course, ample water romping fun. This is not your average run-of-the-mill Toronto off-leash dog park.

If you’re looking for:

  • an approved off leash trail 30 min away from Toronto that takes at least an hour to complete
  • varied terrain (e.g. trees, sand, water, hills, mud)
  • dog park with friendly dogs & owners
  • spacious (ample running room)

Etobicoke Valley Off-Leash Dog Park may be the perfect place to spend a few hours here with your pooch. If however, you’re looking for:

  • fenced dog park
  • dedicated small dog space
  • manicured space

Etobicoke Valley Off-Leash Dog Park may not be the right place for you.


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Etobicoke Valley Dog Park – Off Leash Dog Park Review: Contents

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Etobicoke Valley Dog Park Summary


IMPORTANT: Due to the nature of this dog park, poison ivy and ticks (March to November) can be found in certain parts of the trail.

Watch this quick preview of Etobicoke Valley Dog Park before reading the full review below!


Review of Etobicoke Valley Dog Park

Etobicoke Valley Dog Park is a long and narrow off-leash dog park that runs parallel with the creek. The parkland is owned by the City of Mississauga. However, its day-to-day operations and capital improvements are supported by Leash Free Mississauga, an incorporated non-profit community organization that is member-run and volunteer-run.

Etobicoke Valley Dog Park is considered a public park and is open to everyone who visits the area.

Getting to the Dog Park

To get to the area, you need to drive to the southernmost end of Southcreek Rd.

The double-gated entryway is nestled between a Leon’s Furniture Superstore and a nondescript plaza with ‘Crystal Grand Banquet Hall’ and ‘Toute Suite’.

The dirt lot in front of the gate can hold approximately 8-10 cars. Leon’s Furniture and the Crystal Grand Banquet Hall / Toute Suite plaza provide an additional 30+ additional paved parking spaces. During the weekends when the park gets really full, you’ll see cars parked on Southcreek Rd as well.

Etobicoke Valley Dog Park - Entrance
Etobicoke Valley Dog Park Entrance pictured in the Spring

Key Features

Amenities-wise, this dog park sticks to its ‘natural’ description and consequently, comes with fewer amenities than other, more manicured dog parks:

  • You’ll need to bring in your own poop bags as the poop bag dispenser located between the double-gated entrance is often empty
  • There are three covered split garbage/recycling receptacles after passing the gate’s entrance and no further bins inside the park
  • There are no fountains or faucets for fresh water, as dogs can easily quench their thirst at the Etobicoke Creek situated within the park itself.
  • There are no bathrooms situated around this park, so if you plan on staying here for a few hours, make sure you’ve done your business elsewhere!
  • Seating-wise, there are couple of picnic benches close to the entrance and also one closer towards the creek. However, beyond the first half km from the entrance, there are no other seating/benches available.
  • Within the trail, members and volunteers from Leash Free Mississauga have set up rope handles on steep hills for easier ascent and descent.
  • From what I can recall, there are no lights within the dog park itself, so while the park is open until 11 PM year round, navigating the area after dark would definitely be tough
Related:  Dog-Friendly Guide to Bronte Creek Provincial Park

First Impressions of Etobicoke Valley Dog Park

When we first entered the double-gated entryway, Etobicoke Valley’s Off-Leash Area the dog park did not look like much. However, all of that was immediately erased as soon as we passed through the gates. Once through, we’re immediately walking downhill with Limone racing down. The downhill path widens and flattens out into an open space with a side path to the left.

Etobicoke Valley Dog Creek - main area and side path to the left immediately after entering the dog park
Directly down the hill is the main area. In the image, you can see the side path leading off to the left

To be honest, when we first entered Etobicoke Valley’s Dog Park, we didn’t actually notice the side path or the signage, because we were immediately drawn in by the vast grass and rock area presented to us immediately downhill. We saw at least 10 big dogs playing with each other. As per the sign on the gate, the area was partially fenced, but the open area was relatively enclosed thanks to the creek on one side, and thicker vegetation on the other.

The open area is so large that you can’t immediately tell that it becomes a narrower trail that follows Etobicoke Creek until you walk through it much further down. The grass and rock field is gradually replaced by a rock beach beside the creek, and even further in, it becomes a dirt path with rocky terrain and raised tree roots with occasional open access areas to the creek.

At about the one-kilometre mark, the pathway narrows further until it became a narrow ledge on the side of a crumbling hill against Etobicoke Creek. On our first visit, we decided to turn around at this point because we were not prepared for a hike and wore sandals (oops!).

Remember the side path left of the main area of the entrance? We actually ended up exploring this area on our way out.

NOTE: There is a sign in the bushes near the side path indicating the presence of poison ivy if your dog strays too far off the path. So do be careful to stay away from that particular area!

The side path is actually a footpath that follows the main area of the dog park, but hugs closer to the creek. This side path actually follows the main area and it provides ample shade and varied trees, fruit trees, bushes, and grasses for your dogs to smell before converging with the main path further in.

Like the notice, there are small concentrated patches of poison ivy that grow near the side path which you should be careful of. Ensure that your dog is either leashed or is able to stay on the main footpaths with you as you pass through the side path area.

Etobicoke Valley Dog Park - Side path trail
side path trail offers shade in the summer once the leaves all come in

Within the first kilometre of the entryway, we were able to:

  1. Play in a huge rectangular grass and rock open area with 10+ medium to large dogs
  2. Explore a shaded side path that follows Etobicoke Creek peppered with varied trees, bushes, and vegetation
  3. Wade in the creek in four different shallow areas
  4. Explore a challenging dirt path with rocky terrain, raised tree roots, and shaded trail

On our first visit, we were only at Etobicoke Valley Dog Park for two hours, but once we put Limone in the car to head back home, she was promptly asleep, and stayed asleep for the next four hours!

Overall, our first impression of Etobicoke Valley’s Dog Park was strongly positive. Not only did Limone have an amazing adventure, but we also had a very enriching hike ourselves.

All the dogs and the owners were extremely friendly, and the park itself provided so many amazing natural features that we were very pleased with the experience.

For us, the only con of the Etobicoke Valley Dog Park is the lack of disposal bins. Disposal bins are only situated at the entrance and nowhere else in the park meaning, you’ll often find yourself hiking along with your dog’s poop beside you!

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On the bright side, we did notice that the dog owners here were generally very good with ensuring the area was clean and that poop was picked up and properly disposed of!

Subsequent Visits to Etobicoke Valley Dog Park

Since our first visit in 2019, we’ve been coming to this park on a monthly basis and have regularly crossed the narrow ledge on the crumbling hill to continue further in. The second kilometre takes you past a few interesting features including:

  • several steep hills (ropes have been put in place for assistance)
  • school bus parking zone
  • views across the creek to a cargo loading bay
  • quieter openings into the creek
  • under a railroad
  • a super teeny tiny ‘waterfall’ near the Queen Elisabeth Way bridge (no photo captured, so we’ll leave this as a surprise to those who find it!)

Due to the rugged/wild nature of this particular dog park, we have noticed that there are very few small dogs that come to Etobicoke Valley Dog Park.

That’s not to say that there are *no small dogs* per se, but this dog park is predominantly used by dogs 50 pounds and up.

There are a few regular small dog owners (e.g. dogs that are less than 25 pounds) that come to this dog park, but these smaller dogs have often grown up playing with larger dogs and most of the smaller dog owners keep a pretty vigilant watch of their dogs to ensure they’re safe.

A very dirty corgi after a few hours at Etobicoke Valley Dog Park
A very happy, tired, and dirty corgi after a few hours at Etobicoke Valley Dog Park

Seasonal Details

Etobicoke Valley Dog Park is open all year long and thanks to its varied fruit trees, bushes, and flora, each season brings on its own unique flavour to the dog park.

In the spring, you’re treated to wildflowers in various hues of yellow, violet, blue, white, and pink (unfortunately I’m not a wildflower expert so I have no idea what they are!).

In the summer, you get a few moments of respite in the shade from the beating sun as the trees fill with deep green leaves.

In autumn, you’re treated with piles of fallen leaves that dogs can dig through or chase when the wind blows through.

And last, but certainly not least, in the winter, when the scene becomes barer, you’re introduced to new, twisted pathways that only open up once the foliage dies and the tree branches are stripped bare.

Please note that while the park is open in the wintertime, the park trails are not maintained and there are warnings to use the park at your own discretion. There have been a few times in the winter when the pathways became too icy to traverse and we were not able to complete our usual 2km one-way path. During especially icy days, it is best to stick to the first half of the trail with the wider open ground for safety reasons.


What We Always Bring With Us to Dog Parks

We prefer to bring silicone collapsible water bowls with us instead of specialized dog water bottles. Why? Limone drinks more water than most dog water bottles can carry. We save ourselves from carrying extra bottles by carrying an extra-large water bottle with us and pouring water into the bowl instead.

Dog Waste Bags. Standard item to always have with you whenever you’re out with your dog. We get ours from Costco – Poops! 720 count + 1 dispenser option for CAD 21. If you were to buy the same amount from Walmart, Homesense, or other pet specialty stores, it can easily run you past CAD 40 for a similar quantity. Get it from Costco! You won’t regret the $$$ savings!

Dog Treats. This is a given – we don’t have any favourites yet but we tend to carry a couple of handfuls of treats with us to call her back or coax her to come back home with us.

Related:  Is Dogsview Park (Downsview Dog Park) North York’s Best Designed Dog Park?

Dog Treat Pouch. I admittedly did more research than I cared for before settling on this dog treat pouch. Out of all the dog treat pouches on Amazon I settled with this one because:

  • It can carry 2 rolls of poop bags – one on the side and one in the back, so even if I run out from the first roll I’ll always have a backup handy (technically you’re supposed to use the back hidden pocket to store your phone since it has a headphone hole but… I don’t use it that way)
  • It has a mesh outer bag for small quick-grab items like my clicker. 
  • A deep front zipper pocket to store my keys and phone (it’s deep enough for my Pixel 3!)
  • A massive treat/toy pouch with a full drawstring. Some may hate it but I LOVE the neon green lining. Every treat stands out against the neo green lining make it very easy for your to look for specific treats. Also this pocket is massive enough to carry a small toy with you too
  • You can wear it multiple ways – the bag comes with a long strap and accessories so that you can wear it however you’d like. With the clip, you can waer it directly on the side of your pants. With just the strap, it that can be worn messenger-style (my preferred style), and with the clip + strap, you can wear it like a waist pouch. 

What’s on Limone:

Depending on the situation we rotate Limone through various harnesses and collars:

Similarly, we rotate Limone’s leash based on our needs. These are the three leashes we use regularly:


How to Support Etobicoke Valley Dog Park

Disclaimer: I am not being paid or earning a commission for the below – I just really love the park and the community and am a happy member of Leash Free Mississauga (LFM)!

If you visit Etobicoke Valley Off-Leash Dog Park and love it just as much as we do, consider becoming a member of, donating to, or volunteering with www.leashfreemississauga.ca! It is free to become a member, and by doing so, it allows the organization to better grasp the actual number of park users and vouch for upgrades and improvements with the City.

Leash-Free Mississauga is a non-profit organization that works closely with the City of Mississauga’s Parks and Forestry Division to create a secure and friendly environment for our canine companions. They not only support Etobicoke Valley Off Dog Park, but also a number of other popular dog parks including Jack Darling, Totoredeca, and Lakeside Dog Park! They do awesome work including:

  • provide electricity to the parks
  • clean up, pathway clearings, mulching, wood chips, etc.
  • advise the city about hazards in the park
  • set up lighting at the parks
  • fencing maintenance
  • water access (where feasible)
  • seating and signage

Want to see more reviews like this? Let us know in the comments below! We (Limone included) would love to explore new places and share our thoughts with you!

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Maria is the founder of SYDE Road, a blog about adventure and often-times dog-friendly traveling. She loves researching and planning for trips and is the 'project manager' for many of the small group adventures documented on this blog. She believes that while it is always best to go into a trip with a plan, the best planned trips are always the ones that have time built-in to explore and get a bit lost. Her itineraries are detailed with safety hints and tips, but are also peppered with unique travel stories and experiences that are the result of free time, getting lost, or stepping off the main trails. She aims to inspire others and give people the confidence to travel the world and get a bit sidetracked!

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