All the rumors are no longer as Clublink Corp has officially filed a request to redevelop the famed Glen Abbey golf course. I knew it…
I remember when Clublink purchased the course back in 1998 and my first thought at the time was they would attempt to redevelop the land. This is a process that will take years to accomplish and not without a huge backlash from Oakville residents and more so the Glen Abbey community.
The golf course has been a fixture in the area for decades and a regular stop for the Canadian Open. In my opinion, the course is just okay, by far one of the easiest courses for professional golfers. It is one of the best and first stadium style golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus. What I don’t like is the alternative.
Real Estate Grab
Clublink, or should I say Morguard Corp is in the real estate business. They operate a golf outfit, how successful is up for debate. My experience with Clublink courses and management has been sub-par, excuse the pun. They operate under the private membership segment of golf but I find they fall short with their service in comparison to a truly private golf club. What do I know, I like playing Deerfield or Burlington Springs for under 50 bucks.
One could argue that a good percentage of Clublink course acquisitions are based on real estate development alone. It will be interesting to see what happens with the Rattlesnake course in Milton as housing development is just touching their borders.
The potential development of the Glen Abbey golf course comes with a few major issues. Adding 3000 homes to the area will place a serious strain on the existing infrastructure, which is already showing signs of weakness with new development to Oakville’s north. The ravine section of Glen Abbey will be preserved as green space for the town residents but this also outlines one of the biggest obstacles.
The 16 mile creek is one of Oakville’s most beautiful and perhaps underappreciated landscapes in the area. The creek also places a huge strain on traffic flow within the area. From the QEW you have two choices for a northern route, within relative proximity, Trafalgar Road and Dorval Drive. One can easily argue that these two main traffic arteries are currently strained if not insufficient to handle today’s traffic. As growth continues north of Dundas, residents will be scrambling to find an effective route to the highway or the Go Train service.
Local Glen Abbey Residents
This development will take a stream of income that is produced during Open years but the local residents of the exclusive Fairway Hills section of Glen Abbey…they have to be fuming. Those who have purchased homes backing right onto the golf course at a significant premium, I might add, must have a lump in their throat. I would place a minimum of 100k for a lot backing onto the course and that is on the conservative side.
The recognition that the course brings to Oakville will be gone forever along with the tourists and die hard golfers that want to hit a certain shot from a certain bunker… see below
What I do know about real estate is that change can be difficult. Moving a client out of a house that they’ve lived in for 30 or more years isn’t easy. We become accustomed to our surroundings and comfortable with the status quo.
Do I want to see these lands developed? NO!
However, in speaking to a long-time resident of Oakville a little light broke through and put things into perspective. She remembered an Oakville of the past when the land north of the QEW was all farmland. The idea that we can stop development and preserve the remaining land that we have in Oakville is ludicrous. I agree that we can’t stop everything but I think this development is worth trying to stop. Land values have peaked in the GTA and the golf industry is fading like most of my drives these days.
This issue is long from over but from the outside looking in, where do you stand?