Surrey's Riverside Golf Centre closes after city expropriates land

A nearly 50-year-old golf course in Surrey, B.C., is closing because the city is expropriating the land to turn it into a road and conservation area.

City of Surrey says it wants the land to increase outdoor recreation space for residents

The Riverside Golf Centre in Surrey has been operating for nearly 50 years. (CBC News)

A nearly 50-year-old golf course in Surrey, B.C., is saying goodbye to its customers this weekend because the city wants to turn the land into a road and conservation area.

"It's sad, but we're trying to stay positive," said Ken Poirier, the owner of Riverside Golf on King George Boulevard.

The city has expropriated the 16 acres of land that are currently home to Poirier's pro shop, driving range and nine-hole golf course. In exchange, it's giving Poirier just over $3 million.

It intends to use part of the land to extend Crescent Road, linking King George Boulevard to Winter Crescent. The rest would be used as a conservation area.

But Poirier said the money isn't worth giving up a long-time family business — one his father is devastated to leave behind. 

"He comes here five or six times a week, not because he has to, but because he enjoys the company — his friends —  he's known for the last 30 to 40 years," he said.

Ken Poirier, the owner of Riverside Golf in Surrey, said the money from the city isn't worth shutting down his family business. (CBC)

Poirier said the course already provides recreation and green space, and that he would gladly give the city back its money and the land the golf course sits on, in exchange for him to be able to keep his golf range.

"They can achieve the road, a nice walkway, a public walkway, and they can still have a recreation centre in the centre of the property," he said.

Nobody from the city was available to comment on the golf course's closure, but at an expropriation hearing in 2015, the city's parks manager Owen Croy said the golf course was the best location for the city to accomplish its goals. 

"The objective is to acquire open land for park purposes for biodiversity conservation, passive recreation and the viewing of wildlife and scenery," said Croy. 

With files from Kiran Dhillon


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.