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NCC buys golf course near Gatineau Park for $3.9 million

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The National Capital Commission has purchased the old Dunnderosa Golf Course in Chelsea, Que., as part of its plan to acquire private properties in Gatineau Park.

More than 60 properties have been purchased by the crown corporation inside the Quebec park over the past 16 years, including 16 around Meech Lake near Chelsea.

The NCC confirms to CTV News Ottawa it completed the purchase of the 41.8 acres of property at the corner of Notch and Kingsmere roads for $3.9 million at the end of March.

"This land is part of the Ecological Land Mass (ELM) and trails are currently used by residents," the NCC said.

"Adjacent buildings and a mini-golf are still in operations and are not part of this acquisition."

Dunnderosa Golf Course is adjacent to the Gatineau Park boundaries in Old Chelsea.

The old Dunnderosa Golf Course is located at the corner of Notch and Kingsmere roads in Old Chelsea, Que. The course is on the edge of Gatineau Park. (CTV News Ottawa/Google Maps)

The Gatineau Park Master Plan includes a strategy to acquire private properties within the Gatineau Park territory. According to the plan, the NCC prioritizes land that supports Gatineau Park's conservation mission, ecologically and strategically.

The National Capital Commission's board of directors was told last week that 63 properties have been acquired since 2008, with a total of 269 hectares of land. The properties include meadows, mature forests, wetlands and aquatic environments.

Catherine Verreault, the National Capital Commission Quebec Urban Lands and Gatineau Park Director, says cottages that are still useable will be rented out until the end of their natural lifespan.

 "We rent them until the end of their life cycle, then the site is renaturalized," Verreault said. "It's easier to have ownership of all the properties in the park for conservation reasons."

Since 2008, the area of private lands within the Gatineau Park boundaries has decreased from 627 hectares to 357 hectares, according to the report.

A report for the board says the deciding factors for pursuing a land acquisition in Gatineau Park include ecological characteristics, real estate development risk and the asking price in comparison with fair market value.

Among the properties purchased by the NCC, 16 properties have been purchased on Meech Lake over the past 16 years. 

Wally Schaber has lived on Meech Lake for 30 years.

"The number of permanent residents are shrinking so we feel privileged to still live here," said Schaber. "Even if they eventually acquired my place for example, I’d be fine with that. Returning to nature, becoming part of the park." 

--With files from CTV News Ottawa's Katelyn Wilson.

A map shows the properties the National Capital Commission has purchased since 2008. (National Capital Commission/handout)

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