Amphitheatre popular pick for Flamboro Downs lands
An outdoor amphitheatre is the top community pick on how to use about 20 hectares of surplus lands being offered at Flamboro Downs, according to a recent survey.
Bruce Barbour, executive director of racing for Great Canadian Gaming, which owns Flamboro Downs, said the online survey showed a mix of indoor and outdoor facilities is desired, and that amenities focused on children and families are most important to residents.
“The top potential the community supported was for an outdoor amphitheatre, which was a shock to us,” he said. “We had talked about it, but we didn’t realize how strong that came up.
“Those are what came from that survey and what the top ones were — that doesn’t mean those are … what will happen.”
Flamboro Downs conducted an online survey about what to do with the property in May and June that garnered 97 responses and Barbour spoke about the results at a public open house the racetrack hosted on June 29 to discuss possible uses for the land at the Hwy. 5 site.
Barbour said they would like to make the land available for community amenities.
Ward 15 Coun. Judi Partridge said it is important to hear from area residents about what they would like to see on the site. She assured residents that residential development, such as that taking place in Waterdown, will not happen at Flamboro Downs.
“It’s protected by the Greenbelt,” she said. “Don’t be too concerned about that.”
The land in question comprises about 18 hectares that border 4th Concession Road West, along the rear entrance to Flamboro Downs, as well as approximately five acres located to the east of the barns at the property. Currently, the larger parcel of land is rented to a local farmer. Barbour said there will be no fee to access whatever is built at the site.
Barbour’s personal preference for the smaller parcel of land would be to utilize it as a community garden, as it is serviced by water and electricity.
Bill Elliot of the Flamborough Dundas Soccer Club said the organization is looking for a space to build an indoor soccer facility — which could be done by way of a temporary dome. He added the club also has money to contribute to the facility.
While some attendees were interested in the amphitheatre option, some neighbouring residents raised concerns about potential noise. Other suggestions included a skate park, a dog park with an offleash area or an outdoor skating rink.
Barbour said the process is in its initial stages, adding any decision on the land use will come after the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission (OLG) makes a decision on bids for the West GTA Bundle of gaming properties, which includes Flamboro Downs, as well as Brantford, Elora and Campbellville sites.
A decision is expected by the fall.
Coun. Judi Partridge