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Published on Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Glen Abbey’s history comes into play in Oakville

Landscape study going to Heritage Oakville for public comment

Glen Abbey’s history comes into play in Oakville
16 Mile Creek view of Glen Abbey golf course
By Nathan Howes, Oakville Beaver

If Oakville Town council moves to the next phase of its Cultural Heritage Landscapes Strategy, history may come into play at the Glen Abbey property at 1333 Dorval Dr.

Long-touted as part of Canadian golf history, a report released Thursday, April 13 — the Town’s draft of the Phase 2 Cultural Heritage Landscape Assessments — appears to indicate it is a lot more than that, in fact with layers of historical significance.

At the same time that ClubLink has proposed transforming the 92.7-hectare course into 3,222 residential units, 121,000 sq. ft of new commercial space and about 124 acres of green space, the Town has reviewed six high-priority properties for further study by the Phase 1 Cultural Heritage Landscape Inventory that was approved by Council in February. Raydor Estate, on the Glen Abbey property at 1333 Dorval Dr., is on the list.

Research for the most-recent draft was conducted by Letourneau Heritage Consulting Inc.

Its release has proponents of saving the Glen Abbey Golf Course property from development cheering.

The Save Glen Abbey group, which has nearly 5,000 followers, has launched a petition imploring the same on change.org.

As of Tuesday, April 18, the website claims, “The path to preservation paved ... The Phase 2 high priority draft report for Glen Abbey’s cultural heritage landscape assessment was just released.

“If ultimately approved and passed, decision is not subject to OMB (Ontario Municipal Board) appeal by the developer.”

“This is superb news so we are very hopeful,” it states, inviting people to register to speak at upcoming meetings — Heritage Oakville Advisory Committee, April 25, 9:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., Town Hall, 1225 Trafalgar Rd., Council Chamber; and Planning and Development Council, May 15, 7-10 p.m., Town Hall, Council Chamber.

One of the six properties considered in the second phase of the project is Raydor Estate, located on 1333 Dorval Dr. — home of the Glen Abbey golf course.

The report is set to go before the Heritage Oakville Advisory Committee for consideration Tuesday, April 25 at Town Hall, Council Chamber, at 9:30 a.m.

Recommendations from the committee and Town staff will then go to Council for approval Monday, May 15.

In a statement provided to the Oakville Beaver Tuesday, Mayor Rob Burton’s office stated the Phase 2 draft is intended to provide “evidentiary basis” for any potential protectionary measures on the lands it studies, while Phase 3 would examine them.

Until Council receives the recommendations May 15 and makes a decision, “it would be premature to comment further,” it read.

“The Phase 1 Inventory identified the whole of Raydor Estates/Glen Abbey (1333 Dorval Drive) as a potential cultural heritage landscape for further study. The Phase 2 Assessment is not about a heritage designation, it is about identifying if this property is a significant cultural heritage landscape,” stated Jane Courtemanche, director, strategy, policy and communications, Town of Oakville

“Should Council approve a recommendation to proceed to Phase 3 — Cultural Heritage Landscapes Strategy Implementation with this property, the town will then consider the extent of conservation measures and tools,” stated Courtemanche.

Part of the draft report includes a document specifically on the Dorval Drive property, also researched by Letourneau Heritage Consulting, incorporating numerous regulations to determine the cultural heritage significance of the property, including sections of the Ontario Heritage Act and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC) guidelines.

Based on the aforementioned policies, the report states the property at 1333 Dorval Dr. is a “significant cultural heritage landscape as defined within the 2014 Provincial Policy Statement,” which requires the conservation of significant cultural heritage landscapes.

The property has historical associations with André Dorfman, Oakville Polo Club, the Jesuits, suburban development of Oakville, sports in Canada and the RCGA (Royal Canadian Golf Association)/Golf Canada.

The property, according to the report, also has the potential to yield information about the long history of occupation and travel along, and around, the Sixteen Mile Creek by indigenous nations, as well as information of value to golf architects, landscape architects and turf specialists concerning its design, turf and environmental conditions.

Furthermore, the property demonstrates the ideas of F.H. Marani, Jack Nicklaus, and Robert Cupp.

The property was once possibly associated with landscape architect Gordon Culham, but no definitive proof was found, stated the report.

Should Council approve the draft next month, the Town “may wish to consider” a range of conservation measures and tools including, but not limited to, those available under the Ontario Heritage Act and other legislation, according to the Letourneau Heritage Consulting Inc. report.

Meanwhile, the Glen Abbey golf course is facing potential development from its owners, ClubLink, who filed an application in November 2016, but was deemed incomplete by the Town of Oakville in December.

The Town also has an interim control bylaw in place until Jan. 31, 2018 to temporarily block the development of the Glen Abbey lands.

Both the application and interim control bylaw have been appealed by ClubLink to the OMB, which is still mulling over evidence brought forth by the Town and ClubLink, at two separate hearings held this year.

There is no timetable on when to expect a decision from the OMB.

The Town said the study going before the Heritage Oakville Advisory Committee will have “no bearing on the outcome of the OMB hearings,” but acknowledged it is one of the three studies it needed to be completed before it could make a decision on ClubLink’s application.

“ … it is too early to say what the impact will be on the application,” the statement said.
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

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