With temperatures around the -30 C mark, it may not be the best time of year to think about golf, but one Winnipeg city councillor is considering the possibility of converting some local golf courses for other uses.
Twelve golf courses in Winnipeg operate on city-owned land, including four courses that are owned and operated outright by the city.
River Heights Coun. John Orlikow, chair of the city’s innovations and economic development committee, told 680 CJOB that while fewer people are playing golf these days, it’s by no means a dire situation.
The concern is more about creating public green space for a growing city, rather than anything financial, Orlikow says.
“Actually, golf courses in Winnipeg are kind of flat,” said Orlikow. “They don’t actually lose much money, if at all.
“I don’t advocate getting out of the golf business completely, but I think 100 hectares of land throughout the city of Winnipeg… maybe it’s time to look at repurposing some of that green space for alternative recreational uses.”
Orlikow said the city’s golf courses cost $729,000 a year, noting that that has to do with old debt that’s being paid down.
He said he’s talking with the city’s administration to develop a motion that could be brought to council.
“Bottom line is… golf courses, while they are great, they’re not publicly accessible green space,” Orlikow said.
“The question is, now that we’re growing as a city, do we need to use that green space for more publicly accessible purposes?”
Orlikow said there are a number of options for a converted golf course — anything from soccer or baseball fields to contributing to the city’s One Million Tree challenge through urban reforestation on the green space.