Town of Oakville will explore option to keep Winston Park West lands as parkland

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Province has declared the property it calls Winston Park West, which is also referred to as “The Parkway”, surplus to Provincial program needs 13 years ahead of the expiry of the Town’s lease on the land for use as parkland, Mayor Rob Burton announced Tuesday.

“I have told the Province the Town has no interest in giving up its lease on the lands and is interested in maintaining its use of the land,” Mayor Burton said. “When the process permits, I will be asking Council to take the necessary steps to keep our use of the lands as parkland for trails and for rugby playing fields on Ninth Line. A significant part of the land is protected Joshua Creek valley lands.” 

Prior to any sale, the Province will conduct due diligence on the site such as heritage, archaeological and environmental assessments, appraisals and duty to consult.  

Private contractors have been on the site this year conducting due diligence work. The Province is not required to and does not provide notice of such work. The Province has told the Town to refer inquiries to Infrastructure Ontario. The Province may decide not to proceed with a sale if they find an issue with the property in their due diligence.  

If and when the Province will decide to proceed with a sale, certain government agencies – Federal Government, municipalities, school boards, public colleges and universities, eligible indigenous communities, and eligible not for profit corporations, in that order – get a chance to express interest in acquiring the property for a public use.   

The Town was circulated as part of this surplus process, and the Town expressed interest to preserve the Town’s options to purchase the land. If no deal can be worked out with one of those entities, the Province can then expose the property to the open market.  

“Expressing interest does not commit the Town or the Province to complete a purchase and sale of the property, but means the Town and Province will be eligible to have discussions with the Province to see if a direct deal can be agreed upon,” concluded Mayor Burton. 

Council will receive a report after the Province finishes its due diligence and confirms it is willing to sell the property to the Town. At that point, the Town will have a better idea of the potential purchase price and Council can decide how to proceed. The Town is also evaluating other surplus Provincial lands in Oakville on the attached list for any potential or appropriate town use. 

The Province acknowledged in its declaration of the lands being surplus to the Province’s needs that the land continues to be leased for the next 13 years to the Town of Oakville for parkland uses. The Town’s lease on the land dates back to 1958.