Should Glen Abbey Golf Course Be “Saved, Or Should It Be Developed?

When Jhonattan Vegas shot a seven-under-par final round to pull into a tie with Charley Hoffman at -21, and subsequently won the tournament in an epic playoff, a lot of the lustre of the RBC Canadian Open had already been removed, since more people were talking about the plans to demolish and develop Glen Abbey Golf Club than were talking about the golf itself.

I understand the need to balance a city’s history and tradition with the increasing demand for housing, but what makes a building, a park, or a golf course “of historical significance,” enough so that it needs to be “saved” for all eternity?

A lot has been made of this topic, and I’d like to weigh in with my thoughts…

GlenAbbeyPic

For those of you that aren’t caught up on the trials and tribulations of a particular Oakville golf course, let me give you a quick refresher.

Glen Abbey Golf Club was established in 1976, and was designed by perhaps the greatest golfer of all time, Jack Nicklaus, as the very first solo-design in his illustrious second career as a golf course designer.

Although members of St. George’s Golf & Country Club and The National Golf Club of Canada might argue that their courses are “better,” Glen Abbey is probably Canada’s most famous golf course, and has held more Canadian Open tournaments than any other course, with twenty-five.

There are courses in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia that have a type of beauty that no Ontario golf course could ever provide, but as far as Ontario courses do go, Glen Abbey is the most scenic.  The back nine provides five “valley holes” that are deep down beneath the rest of the course, and offer cliffside views, and gorgeous tree-canopies over the course below.

The course is absolutely gorgeous, it’s tough enough to host a professional event, it’s famous, and it’s popular.

And the owners of the property on which Glen Abbey is situated, a golf conglomerate named Clublink, want to demolish the golf course and build residential and commercial structures.

The development proposal calls for 3,222 residential units, consisting of 141 detached homes, 58 townhouses, 2,434 apartment and townhouse units, and 589 mixed use apartment and townhouse units.

These units would be spread throughout 28 four-to-eight storey mid-rise apartment buildings, and 9, nine-to-12 storey apartment buildings.

There are also plans for over 200,000 square feet of retail, commercial, and office space.

The entirety of Glen Abbey Golf Club’s property is 92.7 hectares, and 42.59 hectares of the site would be used for the development.

50.11 hectares would be turned into publicly-accessible green space.

This includes 34.60 hectares preserved as part of the Natural Heritage System (NHS), remnant wood area or buffer (including the 31.39 hectares Sixteen Mile Creek Valley); 10.62 hectares of parks and open space; 4.32 hectares of storm management ponds; and a .57 hectare Enbridge easement. (Source HERE)

So that’s the background info, folks.

The question at hand is very simply: should this development move forward?

If you’re like me, you’re thinking, “Um, why wouldn’t it move forward?  This land is owned by a corporation, who can do whatever they want with it.  The land isn’t zoned for apartment buildings, but zoning changes like the direction of the wind.”

But it’s not that simple.

Never underestimate the entitlement of today’s general public, because residents of Oakville and the surrounding area are all feeling like they should have the final say in what goes on with this privately-owned land.

And personally, I think that’s slightly misguided.

Keeping in mind that I am an avid golf fan (it’s my favourite sport to play, and believe it or not, it’s my favourite sport to watch, even ahead of NFL football) I am completely in favour of allowing the owners of Glen Abbey to cease operations as a golf club, and seek rezoning for the purpose they see fit, with the land that they own.

For a moment, just consider the following statements from a fictional Oakvillian:

“I acknowledge we have a housing crisis in the Greater Toronto Area.”

“I would love to pay less money for a home.”

“I’m not a member at Glen Abbey Golf Club, or any golf club, and I have no interest in becoming a member.”

“I don’t golf.  I actually don’t like golf.”

“I have never been to Glen Abbey to watch live golf tournaments.”

“We really, truly need to save Glen Abbey Golf Club from demolition because it’s culturally and historically significant.”

Do those statements, as a package, make any sense?

Or are they completely and entirely contradictory, hypocritical, and reek of NIMBY’ism?

Glen Abbey is a gorgeous golf club, but it’s privately-owned.  Why do residents of Oakville feel they can stop the course from closing, the owner from selling, or the developer from developing?

If every resident of Oakville was a member of the club, and played it every weekend, then perhaps they could have their voice heard.

But they’re not.  The people objecting to the development are like those who find something on TV to be offensive, but instead of simply not watching it, they want to have the show cancelled so others can’t watch it.

In an article HERE from back in July, we got some quotes from “real people” in the community, like this one:

Glen Abbey is an Oakville institution. What else do we have to attract people to this community?

This is where my problem lays.

Glen Abbey is not an institution.  It’s a 40-year-old golf course.  That’s hardly enough time to create an “institution” when there are 150-year-old golf courses littered across North America.

This would not happen with Augusta or St. Andrews.

No kidding.  But that’s because St. Andrews was established in 1552, and Glen Abbey was established in 1977.  So one course was established 60 years after Christopher Columbus set to sea, and the other course was established the year Star Wars hit movie theatres.

I would pay more taxes to keep this as parkland rather than see this happen,” said one resident who suggested the town of Oakville buy the property from Clublink.

Sure, no problem.  The town can buy the land, if they pay what the owner is asking, and if the owner wants to sell to them.

Where does this entitlement come from?

I understand this golf course is an attraction, and it’s home to thousands of trees, breathtaking sights, and it’s played host to some great tournaments, but what’s to stop the same residents from saying, “Jake can’t tear down his house and build a new one!  There were so many great parties there!  The backyard landscaping is gorgeous!  His kids grew up there!  The red-brick home dates all the way back to 1977!”

The residents of Oakville want Glen Abbey Golf Club to be designated as heritage so that any attempt by Clublink to develop the property will be thwarted, and I think that’s absurd.

There’s no shortage of articles on the proposal.  Here is one from CBC.ca.

And guess what?

Oakville city council listened to their constituents, and voted unanimously to designate Glen Abbey Golf Course as a heritage site.

Not for a moment do I believe these city councilors did this for any reason other than to avoid the wrath of the voters.

They don’t care about the golf course.  They didn’t think about the pros and cons of adding piles of housing stock to a severely depleted market.  They just saw the lawn signs, heard the noise, and thought, “I don’t want to have to deal with those people!”

Oh yeah, the lawn signs, I forgot:

SaveGlenAbbey

Save Glen Abbey.

I just can’t believe it.

These are non-golfers, who couldn’t tell you the difference between a 3-iron and a 3-wood, whose NIMBY’ism, God complex, entitlement, and sense of self-importance makes them think they can control what one person does with a privately-owned asset.

Imagine the gall of the government – municipal or provincial, to tell Clublink, “We know you own that land, but we think it’s special, so you need to keep it that way.”

I’d love to see that play out.

Will the Town of Oakville force Clublink to keep cutting the greens, and manicuring the fairways?

If the course is “saved,” will all those people with lawn-signs flock to the course to join as full-fledged members?

I could ask rhetorical questions all day, but you know where we’re going with this.

And we haven’t even touched on the fact that adding housing stock to a Greater Toronto Area that is in the middle of a housing crisis, is a good thing, and something we should be seeking to do, wherever, and whenever possible.

Every day, I read in the newspaper how real estate prices are spiraling out of control, sellers are greedy, Realtors are evil, millennials will never own their own home, renters are suffering, and so much of the public, as is always the case, wants “the government to do something.”

So here we have a massive parcel of land, albeit with mature trees and greenery, where somebody wants to add over 3,000 new houses, and yet the same people that complain about high real estate prices can’t seem to realize that greater supply, coupled with the same amount of demand, will lead to lower prices.

NIMBY’ism.  That’s the best way to describe this.

It’s a total case of, “I want what I want, but I don’t want it this way, and here.”

For years, both on this blog, and in social circles throughout the GTA, we’ve been talking about the real estate crisis, and how increased supply and/or decreased demand, would lead to lower prices.

We’ve talked at length about how to do either of those things, and while measures such as the foreign buyers’ tax, or stricter mortgage regulations, can help to decrease demand, very seldom to we hear about plans to increase supply.

Nobody wants to open up the Greenbelt to development, that’s for sure.  There’s an opportunity to add tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of new homes, and create communities north of the city where people can seek alternatives to high-priced homes in the core, and yet there’s so much opposition.

Much of the Greenbelt is government land, so it’s an entirely different conversation.

But Glen Abbey Golf Club isn’t publicly-owned; it’s private.

I believe in the free market, and I believe in ownership rights.

I also live and breathe our housing crisis, and have for 14 years, and I see a population in Canada, Ontario, and the GTA, that is rapidly exploding.

If we stop to throw a fit every time somebody wants to build a house, or a condo, much like THIS debate about an 8-storey condominium to be built in The Annex, then where the hell are people going to live in ten years?  And how much will a home actually cost?

I love golf, and I’ve played at Glen Abbey.

I love Canada, and I’m honoured to have the town of Oakville broadcast worldwide on CBS when Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, and Rickie Fowler tee it up at Glen Abbey every summer.

But the RBC Canadian Open will not continue at Glen Abbey among all this hoopla.  They’ll find another suitable venue for it, and perhaps we could draw some attention and increase the notoriety and tourism potential of a small area in P.E.I., or a beautiful town in Nova Scotia.

The opponents to the development plans at Glen Abbey aren’t golfers trying to protect a “culturally significant site,” which Glen Abbey most certainly is not.

The GTA would benefit, long-term, from adding 3,000 new dwellings in an area that will cease to function as a golf course in the coming years.

So why stand in the way of progress?

51 Comments

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  1. Mike says:

    You state: “The opponents to the development plans at Glen Abbey aren’t golfers trying to protect a “culturally significant site,” which Glen Abbey most certainly is not.”

    This statement is wrong in so many ways. I oppose the development plans. I am a golfer. I have played Glen Abbey. I do not live in Oakville or even Toronto. Glen Abbey is an iconic course that every Canadian golfer aspires to and deserves to play. Designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus. Has hosted 29 Canadian Opens. I applaud the Oakville city council for the heritage site designation – it was the right thing to do. I look forward to attending and watching the Canadian Open there for many years to come. I get goosebumps when I watch players teeing off on the infamous 11th hole as I once did to start their foray in the valley. Saying that Glen Abbey is most certainly not a culturally significant site is pure effrontery to anyone that has played or knows the course. You must be on ClubLink’s payroll to say something like that.

    In terms of housing crisis – what a crock. Based on a generous 4 persons per household and 3000 new households, this would
    increase living space by a paltry .17% for the approx 7 million residents of the GTA. Just find somewhere else.

    Solution: Heritage site. Preserve forever. If ClubLink doesn’t want to run it they can sell it. ClubLink has been buying the best courses all over Canada and tripling the green fees for years now. Golf – a culturally significant and ancient social and sporting activity – was meant to be for the masses, not the privileged few that can afford a ClubLink membership.

  2. Natrx says:

    Well, just like what is happening all through the hot spots of Toronto, it’s called infrastructure overload. Over crowded school, transit, hospitals, etc. It’s obvious Torontonians don’t care since that’s where all the immigrants and young yuppies come so they want everything that will make life easier to settle in including dense housing. But the citizens of Oakville actually do care and used the rules to vote democratically on a status.

    Now in terms of ownership rights, that’s definitely more sticky, but just because re-zoning ‘changes like the wind’ doesn’t mean it always should. Especially if there is a disproportionate impact to the city and voters do mobilize to take matters into the citizen’s hands via democratic vote vs single source power.

  3. debra Egan says:

    This is a very well-balanced thoughtful article that does indeed point out the ludicrous meddling of a government entity in private affairs. I do hope Clublink finds a way around this. As the owners and operators of the course they should have every right to dispose of it as they see fit. I don’t believe those same residents would appreciate having their houses seized by the government to build a highway or satisfy any other common good. I’m sure no one wants to live in a world where the government can arbitrarily dictate what you can do with your land, your property, your person, your employment etc.

    1. Neil says:

      “They should have every right to dispose of it as they see fit” I am sure you would not be happy if your neighbors tore down what is there now, built a toxic waste dump, abbatoir, power station etc. That is why we have zoning laws and the “meddling of a government entity” is designed to protect us all not just say yes to rich landowners like they did years ago.

  4. JD says:

    Looks like the Oakvillians got ahold of this post.

    Get ready for a few dozen of NIMBY’ism’s finest example throughout the day!!!

    1. Neil says:

      Curious isn’t it that people who live in Oakville, who care about Oakville and will be directly negatively impacted should speak out against it.

      1. iwill says:

        but you wont be negatively impacted by it. you just think you will and want to keep the area “exclusive”. Don’t feel bad about it,,, its perfectly normal to feel that way. People don’t like change.

        1. Neil says:

          I hope you kept the receipt for your amateur psychology book as you have no idea how I will be impacted by this development

  5. Mark S says:

    That green space is in the heart of Oakville. Once developed it is gone forever and the Town of Oakville will lose a significant component of it’s unique brand…. much to the dismay of the residents. If the three levels of government agree to this request for zoning change and development, they should also should change the name from Town of Oakville to the City of Oakville.

    1. Daniel says:

      If you think Oakville will remain a quaint town for all of eternity and avoid becoming a city then you are as delusional as the Torontonians who think every man, woman, and child should be able to afford to own a home.

      The Golden Horseshoe will eventually become one mega city, and Oakville will simply be a part of it.

      It’s so cute that all these Oakville peeps pretend that population growth doesn’t exist.

      1. jeff316 says:

        Exactly. Oakville is part of that sprawl. I get that the community wants to shift public perception of its desire for exclusivity to onwe of exceptionality. But it is fundamentally dishonest. Burlington and Oakville elected Green Party mayors, but only after they paved paradise and put up hundreds of parking lots.

  6. XYZABC says:

    Totally echo the comments below regarding rezoning.
    Clublinks can do whatever they want, as long as it is for what the zoning is for.

    This rezoning (not only for this specific case – but all) as seen fit by the developer is what I am against.

  7. A Grant says:

    I’m not one to argue that private land owners have an unlimited right to use their land as they please. I am a firm believer that a community ought to have to their voices heard when it comes to large-scale developments. And I agree that cities need greenspace.

    That said, the proposal seems reasonable (although I would like to see some provisions for affordable housing) and they appear to be allotting approx. 50% of the land to publically-accessible greenspace (which is 50% more than they have now…)

    Most importantly, I believe in intensification – especially if the intensification is located next to a main transit hub. According to Google Maps, the Oakville GO station is less than 5k away. I’m hopeful that, as a condition of approval, the developer would be responsible for helping to fund transit options (dedicated bus lanes, bike lanes, etc.), thereby allowing folks to access Toronto without having to depend on a car.

    A guy can dream, can’t he…

    1. Neil says:

      So kind of the developer to leave 50% of the land for green space….did you realize this is land in the valley that cannot be built on anyway? Or that it is in a flood plane?
      As for public transit, Oakville has a wonderful bus service but how many buses would we need to say shuttle say 1000 people to the GO station in the morning while avoiding the hundreds of cyclists in the winter? As evidenced by observation, this is not like downtown Toronto, most people need a car and most families need two as both partners work to pay the bills, or shuttle children etc.
      So a nice dream, but sadly still a dream

      1. A Grant says:

        Neil – right now, as is my understanding, 100% of the land is inaccessible to the public. I’m not an expert re: floodplains in that region, but given that housing exists near the golf course, I’m assuming housing can be build on the golf course.

        As part of the approval process, the developer cannot be allowed to build with a car-centric view. As David noted, there are also plans for over 200,000 square feet of retail, commercial, and office space. Any responsible development should ensure that this type of infrastructure is easily accessible by foot or by bike.

        Dedicated bus lanes should link directly to the Oakville GO train, thereby providing quick, easy access for the 1000s of people whose jobs happen to be in Toronto. Separate bike lanes so drivers aren’t having to avoid cyclists. After all, if we can’t possible shuttle 1000s of people via bus, then this applies doubly for cars, given that most are single-occupancy and we lack sufficient road space for the traffic we have now.

        I’m not saying remove cars entirely from the equation – but by trying to eliminate most reasons why someone living in this neighbourhood might need to use a car, you can reduce traffic for those who really need to drive.

        1. Bijan Soleymani says:

          I believe there are publicly accessible trails already on the land (not on the golf course itself, but on the adjacent green space that is owned by clublinks). I’m guessing this is part of what would be kept.

        2. Neil says:

          A Grant, The property has basically two areas, the tabletop and the valley lands by the creek, all the building is to be on the top section and the donated land on the bottom. Based on your dream of public transit and cycling, I wonder why the developer will be including garages and parking spaces at all? Today Buses are available all over Oakville, most run empty or with very few passengers and so few cyclists ride here in winter that sadly it makes no sense to hope that most will use these. As it sounds like you are unfamiliar with the area, please come and visit for yourself, Glen Abbey do a nice Sunday Brunch, and see why this land should not be developed this way.

  8. Neil says:

    As a local resident affected by this proposal let me weigh in. Unlike many parts of Toronto and the sprawling mess called Mississauga Oakville is a planned community and very specific areas of town were dedicated for development. Glen Abbey was not zoned for housing but rather as greenspace and has the zoning for a gol course and incidentally also a hotel. Despite the hectare/acre debate it is in a neighbourhood that is mature and has grown up around this green space. The development proposed is not needed to meet any lack of housing in Oakville, a drive along Highway 5 Dundas street shows thousands of homes being built in the planned areas of Oakville. So, not in the plan, not needed, not wanted other than by the developer what other negative impacts might there be? In one corner of a developed area in town where traffic already is busy at going to work and coming home times, this proposal would add at least 9000 additional vehicle trips most at there times jamming these roads, what else? Oh yes construction dirt, noise for ten years or so…. so heritage worthy or not, this property does not need this massive development rezoning should improve a community not just the developers bottom line.

    1. jeff316 says:

      Arguing that Oakville is more planned than Mississauga is like arguing that a Jos. Louis is healthier for you than a Twinkie.

      1. Neil says:

        Not being a nutritionist, dietitian or consumer of sweet cakes, I have no idea. However I have read Oakville’s livable plan and that is what we are talking about.

        1. jeff316 says:

          But that’s not what you’re talking about. Glen Abbey is an exclusive, private-owned facility (surrounded by sprawl-ridden, exclusive single family home developments) that charges for its use. It doesn’t contribute to the livability of the community in any way, shape or form unless a) you can afford a house aside its greens or b) you can afford a green fee for its use.

          It strikes me as much more livable thing for Oakville to redevelop the location into housing (where people live) and public greenspace (that more people can use).

          Now, I can understand your opposition. As someone said above, it’s ok to oppose this – it’s natural. Change sucks. But opposite it honestly – the reduced exclusivity, the loss of cache, the reduction in property value, the personal impact to you. Not some baloney arguments that are factually faulty and fundamentally dishonest.

          1. Neil says:

            The word you were trying to use is cachet, not cache

  9. Karen says:

    This isn’t about golf but it IS about the right to shape our own community.
    Paving over greenspace is a thing of the past called urban sprawl. It didn’t work. Oakville has an Official Plan that targets areas for growth- UP NOT OUT. It is more sustainable to intensify in already serviced areas, especially transit-friendly ones. Citizens have the right to speak up about the type of community they want to live in.
    And talk about entitlement??? ClubLink buys 535 acres of Glen Abbey GC for a song, knowing it is zoned private open space, pays reduced taxes for 20 years and then… EXPECTS the Town Council to roll over and rezone it to pave it? This is about speculators, landholders making a bundle on the backs of taxpayers.
    Looks like Milton Council drank the koolaid. “Excited” about having the OPEN at Rattlesnake….across from the Regional dump. They are even going to add to ClubLink’s empire by rezoning more land for them. How welcoming. Fast forward 20 years and ClubLink will cash in their chips and make even more money, again at the expense of the residents of Milton and Halton Region. Duped!
    Don’t fall for the developers whining about not enough housing or about the Greenbelt increasing house prices. Economics isn’t that simple. There is plenty of housing slated to be built if you drive along Highway 5 , you will see the developers have already had their way with Oakville. Affordable housing is an issue in any municipality in Canada, but Oakville citizens won’t take the heat for that one.
    As Oakville citizens we know what we do want. We DO have the democratic right to shape our community and tell Council, elected by us, what we DO want our community to look like. So YIMBYism is alive and well in my backyard and we are proud of it!

    1. iwill says:

      Karen – don’t you see the plan Morguard has? They want to build condo towers! Up – just like you say…… see, its all very reasonable.

  10. DJL says:

    I have three words for people who think the owners of Glen Abbey shouldn’t be allowed to develop the land: Maple Leaf Gardens. Was there a more historic sports site in the GTA than the Gardens? Of course not. But that didn’t prevent the owners from redeveloping that land. If there wasn’t a strong enough argument to preserve the Gardens, there certainly isn’t one to preserve Glen Abbey.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the proponents of preservation are going to lose this battle, and probably end up costing the tax payer a bunch of money in the process. And that for me is the real shame here.

  11. jeff316 says:

    There is nothing historic about this golf course.

    1. Mark S. says:

      Hello Jeff, as an Oakville resident I am happy to provide you with more context and depth. Actually the land Glen Abbey sits does have some history to it more than a providing Oakville with a significant brand as a world recognized golf course it is today. The lands were once occupied by indigenous people, a farm and sawmill (19th century), private estate (1930s-1950s) and a religious retreat (1950s-60s). In addition, Sixteen Mile Creek Sixteen is the largest of all Conservation Halton’s watersheds, as well as the largest and most central watershed area in all of Halton Regional.

      1. jeff316 says:

        None of that history is unique to the area, to Ontario or has anything to do with the golf course.

        If Sixteen Mile Creek is a significant watershed, then removing the golf course would probably be beneficial to the health of the watershed given the pesticides and chemicals used in maintaining golf courses – particularly given that the proposal includes a lot of publicly-accessible greenspace.

        1. Neil says:

          Great idea Jeff to remove the golf course you should propose it to Clublink. However as the golf course have been responsibly using chemicals on this land for many years, replacing the course with over 3000 homes who may or may not be so careful plus salt laden water from the new roads plus construction debris and garbage from all the new homes may not be as good. One more reason for the opposition.

        2. jeff316 says:

          Responsibly using chemicals for many years? Do you work for Glen Abbey?

          They’re “responsibly” using “chemicals” that have been banned from use in the province, they just have a huge gaping exemption from the rules that apply to anyone else. Talk to anyone who knows, they’ll take road salt grime > industrial pesticides anyday.

  12. Kyle says:

    I personally find the NIMBY battles waging in the Annex and Rosedale more interesting. The issue I see is that current planning and zoning encourages high rise/high density or nothing, which is very divisive. It doesn’t allow for gentle density increase by non developers, which would be far more tolerable for all sides and add needed supply.

    I recall not long ago when I supported laneway housing, saying it will eventually become a choice between allowing home owners to increase density or allow developers to build multi storey buildings in existing hoods. Some other commenters thought, the latter would never happen. Yet here we are today and it is happening in Toronto’s most elite neighbourhoods- The Annex and Rosedale.

  13. jeff says:

    what hasn’t been “addressed” (golf pun) is that MOST of the support for keeping Glen Abbey are just local businesses that piggy-back off events like the Canadian Open which provide a huge surge in dollars/tourism for those weeks. They really don’t care about the golf course (and most have never played there)…it is all about what removing the golf course (and PGA events) would do to their businesses…pure selfishness. David, you’re right…it is a corporation (who can sell their own land if they want to) and last time I checked we lived in a free society (cue slow hand clap).

    1. Mark S says:

      Life is not so simple. It should be clear that municipalities have city development plans and use zoning to enforce controls to avoid chaos. Oakville prides itself on being one of Canada’s top places to live. The fact that Clublink bought the property knowing it was zoned green space and was never included in the City Plan for development. While the owners have every right to request a change in land use, my hope is the request will be turned down. As a resident of Oakville and a golfer fortunate enough to play Glen Abbey many times, I am also a real estate agent and have yet any resident who is happy with the prospect of adding another 10,000 people into the heart of Oakville for numerous reasons not exclusive to increased traffic and years of building infrastructure to support. In this case, the tail should certainly not wag the dog.

      1. Carl says:

        That’s okay. I live in downtown Toronto, and we’d love to take the 10,000 people you and your fellow Oakvillians (at least according to you) don’t want. We’ve got no room, of course, but what the heck, we’ll manage. We always have.

  14. Daniel says:

    Golf is a dying sport. The “nostaligic” residents of Oakville would be better served getting out the photo albums from their attic and looking at baby pictures, than spending their time fighting a losing battle.

  15. Joel says:

    Last month you were all for saving historical building in your neighbourhood and this month you want Landmarks in Oakville to be consumed by corporations.

    Canada is only 150 years old, so a 60 year old golf course isn’t nearly as. young as you are plating it off to be.

    I am assuming you wrote this a while ago as the market right now doesn’t look like there is a massive demand for new housing. Sales and prices are down and houses are sitting on the market longer than they have in the past decade.

    As a golfer who lives in Toronto I wish more gold courses and driving ranges were around. It takes an hour drive to be able to find a course that I can play without having to book a week ahead of time or paying a fortune. It takes 45 minutes to get to a range where I can hit off of grass. We can’t always sacrifice culture and recreation for corporations to make more money.

      1. RPG says:

        I dream of having the same amount of free time on my hands as you demonstrate with comments like this.

    1. ATR says:

      40 years, not 60.

      You’re exaggerating to prove your point.

      Highland Gate GC closed in 2014. and it dated back to 1930.

      York Downs sold to developers in 2015.

      Copper Creek is closing.

      So too are Mandarin and Saw-Whet.

      Get used to this theme. There’s more money in housing than in golf.

  16. McBloggert says:

    I love the outdoors and firmly believe in the green belt, I am also a casual golfer, who aspires to play more (dam family and work). So I should be sympathetic to the efforts to protect Glen Abbey – but I am not.

    As David said, this course is not old and not historic. Hosting a few Canadian Opens, which I doubt carries any more prestige in the golf world than another PGA Tour stop and being the nicest golf course in Oakville, does not make it exempt from a private business making a business decision about how to allocate its resources. This land is worth 100s of millions – there is no way it can generate this kind of revenue from golf alone – as a business – I would make the financial decision and sell it or co-develop it. Make some concessions – preserve green space, include parks – but I would develop it.

    There are countless courses in Ontario – many of them are struggling. Golf is facing a serious challenge to stay relevant to millennials and busy professionals with families. One less high end course is probably good for the health of Ontario’s clubs. And let’s not forget this could set a precedent that might impede other courses from selling their land for re-development should they be unable to make a profit as a course…

    This along with the Margaret Atwood/Galen Weston Jr. tirade against a low rise condo along Davenport just smack of NIMBY self-interest.

  17. Ed says:

    But what about the value of my house. If they take away the golf course my house might drop in value.

  18. Professor says:

    Turn it into a public park.. and the NIMBYs will pay for it through taxes.

    1. Ed says:

      or clublink keeps it as a golf course and all residents have to pay and extra 100/yr on property taxes

  19. Ralph Cramdown says:

    This post is such a troll… Nobody under sixty* actually still thinks like this, do they? That bulldozing greenspace for sprawl is ‘progress’? That, regardless of tight zoning laws, a landowner would or should have no trouble rezoning the golf course in Oakville for townhouses? Be serious.

    * – On the other hand, nobody over thirty measures land in hectares, so what gives?

    1. Daniel says:

      intensifying an existing community is precisely the opposite of sprawl…

    2. @ Ralph Cramdown

      All the information I could find was in hectares! I’m an acres guy!

      What does “this post is a troll” mean? I need to brush up on my Internet vernacular…

      1. Carl says:

        Exactly! None of us knows what the heck (no pun intended) a hectare is. But we all know what an acre is, right? Right? Am I right? Please tell me I’m right…

        1. Neil says:

          A hectare is an old British measure, I believe it is calculated from the speed of an 11 year old plough horse measured in furlongs per fortnight …..

          1. Cec says:

            A hectare is 10,000 square metres (1km by 1km). It is the standard for large land area measurements.

  20. Appraiser says:

    It would be interesting to consider the possibilities if the situation were reversed, whereby Clublink was proposing to build an elite private golf course in Oakville on pristine valley lands.

    Oh the outcry – oh the humanity! Will somebody please think of the children!

    1. LarryD says:

      Why would that be “interesting to consider”? Some people believe an elite private golf course is less desirable than pristine valley lands, and others believe an elite private golf course is more desirable than pristine valley lands. People often disagree. What else is new?

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