The City and Golf Course land redevelopment… how does it end?

Supporters have called regarding an April 6th Superior Court decision mandating a 120-day mediation between Cedarhill Golf Enterprises (CGE), the owners of Cedarhill Golf Club (CGC) and the City of Ottawa over the operation of the golf course.  We reviewed this CBC coverage of the decision  which confirms facts we had heard previously from neighbouring Cedarhill residents who are concerned about CGEs plans for the land.


It is difficult to provide an analysis given that we have limited knowledge of the legal details at the centre of that controversy.  Based on what we know… here is a background comparison which you may find useful.


Golf Club (GC) Operability

  • CGE seems to have shown that the CGC operation is no longer financially viable and, as a result, is not marketable as a GC
  • ClubLink’s annual financials for Kanata show an award-winning GC with a viable financial operating base (ClubLink suggests profitability declines but appears to have made no effort to sell it)


GC Operating Obligations

  • On purchase for $1, CGE accepted a subdivision agreement which says it must maintain continual operations of the CGC. It argues this planning document is not a binding contract. CGE has not shared proposed alternatives (e.g.: development details) with the city.
  • In Kanata, the governing 40% Agreement (currently contested in court) mandates seasonal use of the Kanata Golf Club (KGC) land to the neighbouring Kanata community outside of golf operations and requires the owner, were it to not want to operate the GC and be unable to find a suitable buyer, offer the land to the city


Land as a Development Vehicle

  • Cedarhill subdivision is a secluded stand-alone rural subdivision, mid-Greenbelt sandwiched between the Experimental Farm and highway 416, accessible only from Greenbank Road. It acts as a natural stormwater management (SWM) feature for a hundred plus abutting estate homes (multi acre lots) with some connections to City hard infrastructure.
  • Kanata GC is embedded in the fully developed and master planned Kanata Lakes/Beaverbrook subdivision and immediately bordered by 630 plus private residential lots and within 50 feet of another 1500 or so homes. Trails, paths and roads fully encourage residents to walk, cycle and drive through the property to work and leisure activities.  The land is integrated into the entire Kanata North SWM system as the largest area of absorptive SW capture atop the Kizell Drain.


Resident Expectations

  • In both cases, their communities want fair protection of existing land use agreements and assessments of the GC viability and, if not sustainable, the protection of green, open continuous spaces as was originally intended
  • The Cedarhill community is monitoring the current legal process between CGE and the City of Ottawa
  • ClubLink and partners pursued and planned a 1480 home residential development plan without a municipally approved SWM plan. The community has intervened in the responding lawsuit to enforce the 40% Agreement and ClubLink obligations to keep the land accessible to the community


City Expectations

  • On Cedarhill, it appears the city position is to argue that CGE has a contractual obligation to operate the GC or come to some alternative arrangement if it cannot do so. The judicial decision calls for 120 days (early August) for a mediated solution.
  • In Kanata, the city has stated it will not fund any additional SWM infrastructure costs due to this development and city engineers are unable to conclude that the proposed SWM plan is satisfactory without significant changes to existing infrastructure. The Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) approved the development in February 2022 with 192 conditions many of which are related to SWM.  Currently, ClubLink has not addressed these conditions.