Am­phithe­atre pop­u­lar pick for Flam­boro Downs lands

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - MAC CHRISTI

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

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