By Emmalee Biebl

We know that water quality can affect human health but what about the health of our beloved furry friends? Vancouver has some amazing off-leash dog parks with water access but, just like humans, dogs’ health can be impacted by bacteria in the water. Before you head out to any of these doggie beaches check out Swim Guide to find up-to-date info about their water quality.

1. John Hendry Park (Trout Lake)

John Hendry Park, most often referred to by locals as Trout Lake, is a happening spot for hanging out with your pup on a summer day. On weekends you’ll find loads of people here BBQ’ing, playing ball, or swimming. Trout Lake regularly hosts dog meetups so not only is it a great place for your dog to make new friends but you as well! Pack yourself a picnic, or better yet, pick up something to eat from the Saturday Farmers Market during the summer months.


  • Dog off-leash area (north end of lake)
  • Playfields
  • Concession
  • Public washrooms
  • Picnic area
  • Barbeques permitted
  • Lifeguards from Victoria Day to Labour Day (late May to early September)
  • Free parking
  • Hours: 6 AM to 10 PM

Image: Meetup at Trout Lake, Dogs of Vancity

2. CRAB Park at Portside

Escape the hustle and bustle of downtown and make your way to CRAB Park. A short walk from Waterfront and Gastown this park with an off-leash beach area is a hidden gem that overlooks the Vancouver Harbour and North Shore mountains. At CRAB Park your furry friend can play in the grass or cool off in the water. This spot has several monuments and sculptures to enjoy and is a great spot to hang out and watch all the action from Vancouver’s port. 


  • Dog off-leash area
  • Playgrounds
  • Water/spray park
  • Picnic areas
  • Water fountain
  • Hours: 6 AM to 10 AM & 5 AM to 10 PM in summer


3. Spanish Banks Park

At the western-most point of Spanish Banks you can find the Spanish Banks Extension, a rocky shoreline that features a large off-leash dog park area. This quiet beach is a popular spot for dog owners to get away from the crowds and enjoy some undivided attention with their canine friends. Some even say this is one of the best beaches for un-obstructed sunset views!


  • Dog off-leash area
  • On the Seaside Seawall system
  • Concession
  • Public washrooms
  • Picnic tables
  • Sand volleyball courts
  • Water fountains
  • Barbeques permitted
  • Free parking
  • Lifeguards from Victoria Day to Labour Day (late May to early September) - weather permitting
  • Hours: 6 AM to 10 PM

Image: A happy pup at Spanish Banks West, VanWoof

4. Kitsilano Point at Hadden Park

Kitsilano Point is a popular off-leash dog park with a friendly and active community year-round. The park offers sandy and grassy grounds for dogs to enjoy and explore. It also offers many spots to take in the gorgeous panoramic view of English Bay, downtown Vancouver and the North Shore mountains. Be sure to stop by the 100-foot tall totem pole carved by Kwakiutl Chief Mungo Martin from a 600-year-old cedar tree while you’re there. 


  • Dog off-leash area
  • Bathrooms
  • Water fountain
  • Hours: 6 AM to 10 AM & 5 PM to 10 PM in summer


5. Sunset Beach Park

Sunset Beach is a great spot to stop by after a stroll along the seawall to relax and take in the sunset. Enjoy the views of Vanier Park and English Bay while your dog gets to socialize at this off-leash park. This sandy beach is popular among locals and tourists alike as it is conveniently located in Vancouver’s West End. 


  • Dog off-leash area
  • On the Stanley Park Seawall system
  • Water fountains
  • Concession
  • Public washrooms
  • Designated quiet beach
  • Access to the False Creek Ferry pier
  • Pay parking
  • Lifeguards between Victoria Day and Labour Day (late May to early September)'
  • Hours: 7 AM to dusk

Vancouver is a city that is fortunate to have so many great beaches for everyone to enjoy. These are some of our favourite beaches for our dogs to play at but we’re missing yours! Where do you take your pup to cool off on a hot summer day? Tell us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Sign up for updates

Take action

Swim Drink Fish
Keep in Touch

Thanks to our supporters

RBC Blue Water Project
Healthy Watersheds Initiative
Salt Water Digital
DM Foundation
Progressive Waste Solutions
Jack Johnson
Dentist on Demand
Golden Properties
Vertex One
Tejas Capital
Seabridge Marine
Cement Association
Fort Capital
Maple Gold
A&F Music
1% for the Planet