The next time the Harwood golf course opens, it will likely be as a park.
On Monday, Vaudreuil-Dorion council approved a motion to purchase the land.
“We are buying this land to protect it, to keep it a green zone. Nothing will be built on it,” said Guy Pilon, the mayor of Vaudreuil-Dorion.
The golf course announced it would not be reopening this spring on its website, thanking its customers.
“Words cannot express enough our sincere gratitude to you all,” the message said in part.
The owner told Global News by phone that after nearly three decades, he was ready to retire.
Pilon added the course was slated to be turned into housing but the deal fell through because the project was too dense for the area.
“Physically it was almost impossible to have that project and we knew at that point people living around there wouldn’t be happy.”
The property is located on Harwood Road, surrounded by a forest of mature trees.
It extends over 2,113,990 square feet, the equivalent of about 44 football fields.
“Maybe we will add a little soccer field for the youngsters, a little baseball field,” Pilon said. “But right now, people … if you go there, they’re putting their skis or rackets and going — that’s exactly what we want to do.”
The city says it’s paying about $2.3 million for the land.
Quebec’s Golf Clubs Association won’t comment on the transaction between Harwood Golf Club and the city.
But its president, Martin Ducharme, says he is seeing municipalities more and more often buy golf courses and change the zoning with an eye to paying less than the land’s actual value.
“Buying a golf course is not a Black Friday deal. It’s not honest on the part of a municipality,” Ducharme said.
Vaudreuil-Dorion did not make any zoning changings to Harwood and a spokesperson for the city said there are no plans to do so.
The transaction is still not complete: the city first needs to get approval for the loan from the council and the province.