Toronto

Oakville's Glen Abbey golf course saved from development after Ontario minister intervenes

Glen Abbey golf course will remain just that after a years-long push by the course's owner to build more than 3,000 homes on the land despite opposition from Oakville council and residents.

Minister Steve Clark says he secured a commitment from ClubLink to drop plans for subdivision

Glen Abbey in Oakville is considered one of the crown jewels of golf in Canada and has been the site of major competitions like the 2016 Canadian Open Pro Am. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

The Glen Abbey golf course will remain just that after a years-long push by the course's owner to build more than 3,000 homes on the land despite opposition from Oakville council and residents.

Ontario Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark said in a statement Friday he'd secured a commitment from Glen Abbey owner ClubLink Corp. to not go ahead with its plans.

"I am incredibly thankful to ClubLink for its cooperation and for ensuring that this heritage landscape will be protected from development," Clark said. 

Preserving the golf course was "precisely" what the town, Halton region and residents wanted, Oakville Mayor Rob Burton said in a statement.

"The thousands of letters written to the province made a difference and showed how our community is an engaged community," the mayor said.

Oakville council had unanimously rejected ClubLink's plans to transform the 80-hectare golf course into a subdivision, parkland and office buildings in 2017, instead designating it a heritage site.

After years of back and forth between the town and company, the matter was headed to the Ontario Land Tribunal in August. 

This week, Burton sent a request to Clarke to intervene, including a formal request for a ministerial zoning order — a powerful tool the minister could use to decide how land is used. The town also had the support of two Progressive Conservative MPPs Effie Triantafilopoulos and Stephen Crawford, representing Oakville ridings.

Clark said there were "too many variables for outcomes on the table" to justify making a MZO, which is why he reached out to the company directly to reach a resolution. 

ClubLink's parent company TWC Enterprises confirmed in a statement it has agreed to withdraw its appeals from the Ontario Land Tribunal. 

"I am pleased to share that these actions have resulted in saving this beautiful golf course for the good people of Oakville for their recreation and enjoyment for future generations," Clark said. 

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