Town intends to designate Glen Abbey property a significant cultural heritage landscape

Tue, 22 Aug 2017

Following a unanimous vote by Town Council last night, the town will be proceeding with a Notice of Intention to Designate the Glen Abbey property, particularly the golf course, as a significant cultural heritage landscape under Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act. The recommendation to designate was based on the cultural heritage value of the property, which has been assessed by the town through its Cultural Heritage Landscapes Strategy. This marks the first of a number of steps the town would need to take before the designation is finalized.

“Town staff, heritage experts and members of the community put forth compelling evidence of the significant cultural heritage value and attributes of the Glen Abbey property,” Mayor Burton said. “The town will now work closely with ClubLink to develop a conservation plan for the site that will help support the continued use of the golf course, including the 2018 Canadian Open.”

Council voted in May to recognize Glen Abbey as one of four significant cultural heritage landscape properties. The other three properties are: Bowbeer Farmstead at Burnhamthorpe Road East; Hilton Farm at North Service Road West, and Biggar Farm at Sixth Line. As part of that vote, Council requested that town staff proceed to implement measures to conserve the heritage value of the property. The recommended designation responds to that Council direction.

On August 15, 2017, the town’s Heritage Oakville Advisory Committee recommended that the town proceed with a Notice of Intention to Designate the Glen Abbey property.

During the meeting, Mayor Burton noted that identifying and conserving its heritage resources is very important to Oakville and the town has been recognized for its efforts with awards such as the Prince of Wales Prize for Municipal Heritage Leadership from the Heritage Canada Foundation and the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Community Leadership.

“The town’s former mayor, Harry Barrett, set the town on the right path when it came to preserving Oakville’s historic downtown. Council has continued to build on that legacy by recognizing four heritage districts in the town, designating and saving the magnificent white oak tree on Bronte road and now recognizing the significance of the Glen Abbey property as a cultural heritage landscape,” Mayor Burton said.

Town Commissioner of Community Development Jane Clohecy noted that the Notice of Intention to Designate the Glen Abbey property as the town’s first cultural heritage landscape was not a recent effort, but rather the result of work that began in 2009 when the town’s Livable Oakville Official Plan identified the need for the town to develop appropriate policies to conserve the town’s cultural heritage landscapes.

“Council approved the town’s Cultural Heritage Landscape strategy in January 2014 and this strategy has been implemented in three phases to lead us to today,” Ms. Clohecy said. “Glen Abbey is the first property identified but work is continuing on three other high priority sites that were recognized by Council earlier this year.”

Cultural heritage landscapes were first introduced in Ontario by the Provincial Policy Statement of 1997, and the recent 2017 update to the provincial Growth Plan again highlighted the need to conserve cultural heritage landscapes. In addition to protection measures under the Ontario Heritage Act, Section 3 of the Planning Act allows municipalities to incorporate more detailed cultural heritage landscape conservation objectives and policies reflecting local heritage places, landscapes and districts into Official Plans, land use planning documents, and related development approval procedures or decisions.

This proposed designation is separate from the consideration of the applications filed by ClubLink to allow the redevelopment of the property for residential and commercial uses, which will be considered at the town’s Planning and Development Council on September 26, 2017.

For more information and to read the staff report, visit our Cultural Heritage Landscape Strategy page.