Hundreds fight for Kanata Golf and Country Club
Christina Succi, CTV Ottawa
Published Monday, January 21, 2019 11:57PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 22, 2019 11:46AM EST
Nearly 500 people braved the frigid cold to fight for the Kanata Golf and Country Club.
Kanata-North Councillor Jenna Sudds held a community meeting Monday evening at the John Mlacak Centre.
"This has come as a big shock to the community," said Sudds.
"This is tremendously valued, beyond just the golf course."
In December, ClubLink, the largest golf course operator in Canada, announced their plans to turn the golf course into a real estate opportunity, partnering with local developers Minto Communities and Richcraft Homes.
"Ottawa is a vibrant, growing city and we believe there is an opportunity to better utilize this 70 hectares of land to meet the interests of the community," said ClubLink in a press release.
"Golf courses are struggling across the country and particularly in saturated markets like Ottawa."
"I can respect that golf perhaps isn't doing well everywhere, but this particular course is doing well," said Sudds.
Sudds says according to a land agreement signed in 1981, the owner is not allowed to redevelop the land.
"There is an agreement that formed the basis of how Kanata Lakes were developed, referred to as the 40 percent agreement," said Sudds.
CTV News attained the agreement, which contains a provision stating:
"In the event that Campeau desires to discontinue the operation of the golf course and it can find no other persons to acquire or operate it, then it shall convey the golf course (including lands and buildings) to Kanata at no cost, and if Kanata accepts the conveyance, Kanata shall operate or cause to be operated the land as a golf course subject to provisions."
Former councillor and Kanata Mayor Marianne Wilkinson helped write and establish the agreement.
"It stood up," said Wilkinson.
"We've been using this agreement ever since then."
Wilkinson says ClubLink is testing the waters, but the contract is clear.
"It has to be a golf course, if you can't run it yourself, you have to sell it to someone else and get someone else to do it as a golf course," said Wilkinson.
"If you don't want to do it as a golf course, you can give it to the city for free."
The proposal has been met with backlash from concerned residents.
Diane Bondy lives on the golf course and is worried how altering the greenspace will change the quality of life.
"We're all devastated this is happening," said Bondy.
"It will affect our infrastructure, it will affect our traffic."
ClubLink has made no official planning proposal or application to the city.
The golf course makes up about 30 percent of the 175 acre Kanata green space.