History of the Greenspace

Published: Your Community Voice : Kanata-Stittsville   January 10, 2019

Author: Marianne Wilkinson is the former City Councillor for Kanata North and first Mayor of the City of Kanata

Teron’s Vision for a Liveable Kanata

When Bill Teron conceived his plan for a garden city to be located outside the Greenbelt west of the City of Ottawa, he first put together 3,000 acres of land.

This was so overall planning for the new city could provide for all the needs for a city and develop the concepts that have underlain development, including lands added over time, in Kanata, for more than 50 years.

A part of that plan was that each community should have its own identity and that open spaces would be everywhere.

Teron also had built a riding stable and riding trails and a 9-hole golf club that was to serve the community.

When Campeau Corporation took the lands over from Teron in 1970 they followed the concepts that Teron had used – first in completing the Beaverbrook Community and then in the Chimo and McCurdy Neighbourhoods in Katimavik.

Then they moved to create a master plan for the last part of Teron’s land holdings, the Marchwood -Lakeside Community (now Kanata Lakes and the KNL lands) where the 9-hole golf course was located.

Kanata had been incorporated as a City in 1978 to include parts of Goulbourn and Nepean Townships so a new master plan was needed.

Both the City of Kanata and the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton (RMOC) would have to approve the plan.

The local community wanted to have the golf course completed to 18 holes and as much environmental land as possible retained.

The 40 Percent Agreement

Don Kennedy from Campeau Corporation was the lead in putting together a plan with 40 percent kept as open space – an 18-hole golf course, the storm water management area (the Kizell wetlands), natural environment areas, parkland and connecting links.

Kanata Council approved the plan, thanking Campeau for including the 40 percent lands. As Mayor of the City at the time, I recommended the 40 percent open space be put into a legal agreement.

The Campeau plan did not conform to the Regional official plan of the day.

So, the City of Kanata submitted it as Amendment 24 to the RMOC plan.

At the RMOC planning committee, which I chaired, there were several objections raised asking to have the entire area north of the wetlands retained as environmental lands, which would have meant loss of the golf course and many open space areas south of the wetlands.

The committee approved the amendment but, on a motion from RMOC Chair

Andy Haydon, required that the 40 percent open space provision be put into a legal agreement before the amendment went to full regional council for final approval two weeks later.

Along with Don Kennedy and other representatives from Campeau I took part in the negotiations of the agreement which we all supported.

It was registered on title and continues to be followed to this day since boundaries and lands deeded to the City are only actioned as development occurs. That continues at this time with the KNL lands.

The key clauses with respect to the golf course were hammered out at the last minute and stated that the lands for the golf course would be mutually agreed between Campeau and the City of Kanata as the full area for 18 holes had not yet been identified.

The golf course was to be operated in perpetuity. It could be sold provided the operation of the golf course continued in perpetuity with the City having a right to purchase it at time of sale.

If Campeau desired to discontinue operations and could find no one to acquire or operate it then “it shall convey the golf course (including lands and buildings) to Kanata at no cost and Kanata shall operate or cause to be operated the land as a golf course.

If Kanata will not accept the conveyance of the golf course, then Campeau could apply to develop it in accordance to the Planning Act.”

Of the number of other agreements about the golf course since the original 40 percent agreement was passed, the most important was in 1985, when I was still Mayor of the City of Kanata, which determined the size, location and required safety measures for the design and construction of an 18 hole golf course.

This agreement permits the City to designate pedestrian and cycling linkages through the golf course to other community facilities such as public transit, schools, parks and open space, such as the one from Knudson to Stephen Leacock School.

These linkages must cross the golf course between the green of one hole and the tee area of the next.

Additionally, “the golf course shall be made available for reasonable use by the public in the winter season for pedestrians, cross-country skiing, including motorized grooming of cross-country ski trails, and non-motorized winter activities which will not interfere with the primary use of the land”.

ClubLink assumed previous Agreements in 1996

Each time ownership of the golf course changed, there was a requirement for the new owner to do an Assumption Agreement, under which the new owner agrees to follow the provisions of the previous agreements.

Such an agreement was made in 1996 and signed by ClubLink. A key clause in the agreement is that it does not alter the way in which the 40 percent agreement continues to include the area of the Golf Course Lands.

“If the use as a golf course or otherwise as Open Space Lands is, with the agreement of the City, terminated, then for determining the 40 percent requirement the Golf Course Lands shall be deemed to be and remain Open Space Lands.”

With all of the agreements, the changes in ownership, and the change in municipality, the principle of the 40 percent agreement remains the same and the operation of the golf course will continue as long as the City takes it over (at no cost for land or buildings) and causes it to be operated.

This means that the City of Ottawa could enter into an agreement with the community or form a corporation to operate the golf course at no cost to the City.