Calgary golf course to make way for waterfront pathway

CALGARY – The city will extend its recreational pathway along the northwest edge of the Glenmore Reservoir, after leveraging lease renegotiations with Earl Grey Golf Club to free up the waterfront space.

By 2017, the city will have fulfilled a long-standing plan to loop its pathways around the entire reservoir to the Glenmore Trail Causeway, instead of directing cyclists and joggers onto a trail through the Lakeview neighbourhood.

This one has been on the books for the last 20 years,” said Bashir Jamal, a manager of city pathways.

As part of its deal to secure the lease on city-owned property, Earl Grey will have to redesign much of its golf course. The club, which has been there since 1932, loses about a hectare in a thin band along the reservoir, but gains a hectare of city grassland adjacent to the course.

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About eight holes on the main course must be altered or completely rebuilt, and the nine-hole course will be downsized. To accommodate the course redesign, the city won’t take over the land for a pathway until September 2017.

“Obviously the reservoir edge is a great feature to have,” said Earl Grey general manager Dwayne Marsh. “At the end of the day, the city owns the land and we needed to find a way for us to continue to remain in our location that we’ve enjoyed for 80 years.”

The club’s lease is for 20 years, with options to extend another 30. Rent to the city will increase nearly fivefold since the last lease was settled in 1987, although the rates have barely moved since then. This lease includes regular rent adjustments tied to inflation, and member dues have already begun rising in anticipation of this, said a letter to Earl Grey members that went out last week.

The city hasn’t begun designing the new pathway, so it has no cost estimate of the project, Jamal said. He noted the city has no plans to move the municipal Lakeview Golf Course off the reservoir to create a full pathway loop around the water body.

Ald. Brian Pincott, the area alderman, said council ordered the city to negotiate the Earl Grey lease on condition the waterfront pathway would be extended. He praised the swap of roadside land from North Glenmore Park.

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“I honestly don’t see any downside to this,” he said.

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

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