Jessica Bell MPP, University–Rosedale

Government of Ontario

Time to turn golf courses into city parks and more

Published on September 15, 2020

Did you know the City of Toronto owns seven golf courses?

On Monday, September 14th, the City’s Government Management Committee voted to extend the life of five of the City of Toronto golf courses for another two years. These golf courses are Dentonia Park, Don Valley, Humber Valley, Scarlett Woods and Tam O’Shanter. This decision will now go to City Council for full approval on September 30th.

Now is the time to take action.

In this pandemic, access to public space is in short supply and many of our city’s residents are struggling to make ends meet. It is unfair to limit the use of city land to those who can afford to pay up to $75 on a game of golf. Despite the high cost to play, the city’s golf courses are expensive to maintain and do not generate revenue for the city. With over 100 golf courses in the GTA available for public use, the popularity of city-run golf courses is in a steady decline. 

It’s time to imagine what else we could do with these beautiful tracts of public land. They could become parks, available to all. They could be converted to urban farms and community gardens, as Food Share is proposing. Community housing and housing coops could be built on a portion of the land to provide affordable homes to Torontonians. There are many excellent possibilities. 

Contact the City and urge them to convert these golf courses into parks during the pandemic, and then launch a public consultation to decide how our city-owned land should be best used for the public good.

Send a message to your City Councillor and Mayor John Tory today. 

Read my letter to the General Government and Licensing Committee here.