27 September, 2017
Glen Abbey's owner ClubLink filed an application Monday to demolish or remove the golf course and some buildings to make way for a mix of homes, offices and stores.
"The town's insistence that the entire golf course has heritage value and that the removal of the golf course can not conserve the heritage resource might mean that ClubLink would be required to operate and maintain the golf course in perpetuity - that's simply not how the Ontario Heritage Act works", said ClubLink chairman and chief executive officer Rai Sahi in a press release.
In its letter, ClubLink notified the town clerk that it will not appeal the proposed heritage designation, which the Oakville town council said that it would seek at its August 21 meeting. "The town simply can not use the Heritage Act to mandate land use", he added.
It first filed the application to redevelop the property in October 2015, with the Town of Oakville Council responding just last month by making the golf course a heritage site in order to make it more hard for ClubLink to do so. Clublink's Senior Vice President Robert Visentin said today "if the Ontario Heritage Act was meant to work this way, Maple Leaf Garden's would not be a Loblaws today".
Buildings that are proposed to remain include the RayDor Estate House, leased to Golf Canada for offices and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Stables, which are used as maintenance facilities and are proposed to form part of a village market that will be built.
Built in 1976, Glen Abbey was the first solo design by Jack Nicklaus.
Tonight Oakville town council will be discussing Clublink's rezoning application.
It's nearly certain this isn't the last salvo to be fired in the battle over the future of the course and it's possible the final chapter may not be known when the 2018 RBC Canadian Open tees off.