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Group CEO of Garden Cities, John Matthews (centre) cuts the ribbon at the opening of the Leadville Dog Park in Sunningdale. Lending a hand are Group Manager, Engineering and Planning, Renier Smith (left) and Rob Dickie, Project Manager.

Renier Smith, Garden Cities Group Manager, Engineering and Planning, enjoying the results of his dog park concept with a canine guest at the opening


Sunningdale Takes the Lead
With Dedicated Dog Park

Every doggy need catered for at new canine leisure centre

Sunningdale on Cape Town’s west coast celebrates the suburb’s first canine leisure centre, Leadville Dog Park, a one hectare facility with paths, grass, fountain and a variety of professional services to provide for a welter of doggy needs.

The park is another of the planned infrastructural elements in the 15-year-old suburb, provided by the developer, Garden Cities. As part of its holistic development philosophy, the near-century old company includes services that will be needed by residents, such as commercial centres, schools and sports facilities. The dog park is a new departure for the company in accordance with the growing canine population of Sunningdale

It is on Leadville Way, just off the main artery Braselton Road at the edge of the developed area to the east of the growing suburb that now comprises nearly 3 300 homes. The park has been completed and the attractive building on the site already houses a variety of professional services for dogs, as well as a popular coffee shop brand.

The new facility has been hailed by residents of Sunningdale who have been keenly anticipating the completion of the park, which features a walking path around an enormous grassed area in the shape of a giant thigh bone. Paw print patterns feature in the pavers on the gravel paths and in the shapes of smaller areas of lawn.

Leadville has been applauded by Robert Rothig, Chairman of the Sunningdale Sports Club – another major facility provided by Garden Cities. ‘People’s interests are diverse with sport and recreation key to a healthy community. Garden Cities gets the formula right with this dog park, because not only is it a great place for the dogs to socialize, but their owners will also get to know one another, and common interests have proved to help bind communities.’

Leadville will be a safe place for residents to run their best friends in the grassy fenced space that will also feature a shallow pond for dogs to cool their paws and drink the running water from a fountain at the centre.

The 180m2 building with its 107m2 veranda at the entrance to the park will add to the pleasure of both dogs and their owners, with a grooming parlour, dog behaviourist, hydrotherapist and a vet-owned pet store, stocking food brands and products that are only allowed to be sold by a veterinary retail outlet. Apart from dog and cat food there will be lots of chewy treats and toys for sale, as well as shampoos, tick and flea prevention and deworming products, dog and cat collars, leads and training aids.

A dog wellness centre, Baybar Active, has taken space to provide its services for rehabilitation and high performance exercises. There are specially designed canine treadmills and other training equipment that allow owners, in consultation with trained vet therapists, to develop training and physical rehabilitation programmes and fitness goals for their dogs. The equipment includes scales for weight monitoring; canine treadmills, a solarium, thermographic camera and a microchip reader

The business side of the park will focus entirely on the care and comfort of dogs, but for owners, the Re-load Espresso Bar will cater for their caffeine cravings with coffee made from a single origin Malawian bean. There is also a choice of smoothies, frappes and pressed juices, breakfasts, light lunches and homemade bagels.

A fence to prevent pooches wandering too far will surround the park, but the open play area will also tie into the future green belt that meanders through the development. This will extend the scope of the park’s offering, with owners able to walk their dogs on leads in the public open spaces accessed through the formal dog park.

For dogs with bad habits, a canine behaviourist, Just Dogs Behaviour is also among the tenants at Leadville.

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