Quebec golf courses slowly being replaced by residential developments
This CP file photo shows a golfer shooting for the green at the Charny golf course near Quebec City in 2001.
Published Sunday, September 22, 2013 1:19PM EDT
Bad news for golf lovers: many of Quebec’s links are becoming laneways, fairways are being transformed into driveways, as developers build residential developments where putts were once sunk.
Golf courses around Montreal and in the rest of the province are slowly disappearing, as real estate developers keep eying golf courses for real estate developments.
Many of Quebec’s 320 golf course owners have opted to sell off some or all of all of their lands for housing, as struggling golf course owners find purchase offers hard to resist, according to Michel Lafreniere, who heads the Quebec Association of Golf Club General Managers.
Around Montreal, the Challenger Golf Course - an 18-hole facility until just a few years ago - was sold to a developer who has started work on a 1,000 unit project.
In Lachine, developers have applied for a permit to build 1,500 units on 26 acres (57 hectares) of land on the Meadowbrook Golf Club.
The project has met some resistance and now faces a new obstacle in the form of a new Montreal bylaw which would ban the construction of new buildings within 30 metres of busy train tracks and 300 metres from a railway yard.
But many urban golf course owners are holding out, as they have seen the value of their property continue to rise unabated over the last few years, according to Lafreniere.
In some cases, developments on former golf courses have met fierce resistance from nearby residents, such as in St. Bruno where locals have proved reticent about a possible increase in traffic when half of the Riviera Golf Club - which is divided between the municipalities of Carignan and St. Bruno - gets turned into housing.
In other cases, residents object to developments because it erodes the supply of green space. Such is the case at the Golf Val-Bélair, near Quebec City where residents have fought the transformation on the basis that it constitutes a change in the vocation of the land.
-With a file from The Canadian Press