Par­tic­i­pa­tion at Don Val­ley course down 15 per cent

Bayview Post - - News -

A re­cent re­view of city-op­er­ated golf cour­ses com­mis­sioned by Toronto City Coun­cil sug­gests it may be time for the city to take a hard look at other uses for golf course prop­er­ties that would be more ben­e­fi­cial to both the en­vi­ron­ment and the sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties.

The re­port, which was pre­pared by City of Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recre­ation, found that par­tic­i­pa­tion at seven pub­licly owned golf cour­ses is down by 15.5 per cent. It also in­di­cated that city-run golf prop­er­ties gen­er­ated $4.5 mil­lion last year, but that is less than the cost to run them.

These city-owned golf cour­ses in­clude the Don Val­ley Golf Course, Den­to­nia Park Golf Course, Hum­ber Val­ley Golf Course, Scar­lett Woods Golf Course, and Tam O’Shanter Golf Course. All of these cour­ses sit on ravine lands.

“Golf cour­ses, by na­ture of the sport... have been put into nat­u­ral ar­eas, of­ten val­leys, river val­leys and so forth,” said Dena Lewis, se­nior man­ager, plan­ning ecol­ogy at Toronto and Re­gion Con­ser­va­tion Au­thor­ity.

She said that, although golf cour­ses are “bet­ter than a park­ing lot,” they aren’t al­ways as eco-friendly as some think. She said that the cour­ses are de­vel­oped in nat­u­ral ar­eas “that are es­sen­tially at risk,” such as the river val­leys around the GTA that fol­low the nat­u­ral her­itage sys­tem. De­vel­op­ment of these lands af­fects veg­e­ta­tion, wildlife and flood plains.

“The city has a num­ber of goals in terms of try­ing to achieve ur­ban canopy or for­est cover tar­gets, tar­gets for con­nect­ing the sys­tems,” said Lewis. “And when you in­tro­duce uses like golf cour­ses, it re­duces the amount of nat­u­ral cover avail­able.”

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