Free Running Area

Animal Services at your door

Animal Services Licensing Officers are going door to door to educate dog owners on their responsibilities to purchase licences for their dogs. These Officers will be in uniform & carrying City photo identification at all times. 

Anyone may renew or purchase a licence at their door, online or in person at Hamilton Animal Services, Municipal Law Enforcement or Municipal Service Centre locations.

Animal Services Officers going door to door will be wearing uniforms and carrying City photo ID


Free Running Areas are areas for you to exercise your dog off leash. They include parkland and public open spaces owned by the City of Hamilton.

Free running area locations

There are currently 3 free running areas in The City.

  1. Chegwin Park
    Chegwin Street
  2. Corporal Nathan Cirillo Leash Free Area (formerly Cinema Park)

    Golf Links Road beside the Silvercity Theatres

  3. Hamilton SPCA (Lower part of park)

    245 Dartnall Road
    Hours of operation: 6 am - 11 pm 

Download the map of City of Hamilton Dog Parks (PDF, 847KB)

Do you want a free running area in your neighbourhood?

If you want to apply for a free running area in your neighbourhood or community, you must submit a Free Running Area Application Form (PDF, 25 KB) and make sure the site meets the City of Hamilton’s criteria.

Rules and regulations

You are responsible for respecting the safety of others in free running areas.

  • Use these areas at your own risk.
  • Keep your dog on a leash until you are in the off-leash area.
  • Dogs must be wearing valid rabies and dog license tags.
  • Dogs are not allowed to
    • Be in the park without an adult human being
    • Bother or chase people
    • Destroy, dig up, or disturb flowerbeds, lawns, bushes, or trees.
  • Dogs must be under voice control.
  • You must clean up after your dog. Poop n' scoop is mandatory.
  • All children must be supervised by an adult while in a dog park.
  • No more than two dogs may be brought into the park by an individual at the same time.
  • Do not bring the following dogs to dog parks:
    • Female dogs in heat
    • Sick dogs
    • Aggressive dogs - dogs that become aggressive toward another dog or person must leave the dog park
  • Do not bring the following items to a dog park:
    • Glass containers
    • Rawhide chews
    • Dog toys
    • Animal or human food
    • Pinch or prong and spike collars
  • Professional dog trainers are not allowed to use dog parks for their business.
  • Dog owners are subject to Ontario’s Dog Owners’ Liability Act.


The City will use the following criteria from the Leash Free Parks Policy (PDF, 283 KB) to decide if a proposed site is eligible for a free running area.

We will not allow exceptions to these criteria:

  • Time and seasonality will limit the use of some sites, especially if the site is near a school board or where play equipment and or splash pads or wading pools are present.
  • Sites must be at least one acre in size.
  • Land is given as-is with no extra amenities. Only amenities found in a traditional park setting will be allowed. Dog park equipment will not be allowed in free running areas.
  • Environmentally Significant Areas are not eligible to be a free running area.
  • Sites surrounded  by high traffic streets, main thoroughfares or highways will not be considered for free running areas, unless there are enough landscape and/or physical barriers to block access to the roadway.
  • Free running areas are not allowed in park sites that have sports facilities.
  • The City does not allow free running areas along trails.

There can only be one free running area per political ward. The City approves free running areas on an as-required or as-requested basis, subject to funding.