Say NO to the Development of The Country Club Golf Course (Board of Trade)

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The Country Club (formally known as The Board of Trade Golf Course) is a golf course set amongst the rolling hills of the Humber Valley within the heart of Woodbridge, Ontario. Recently, a proposal to develop a hundred acres of the golf course with over 1215 units, including 475 single detached homes, 124 townhomes, and 2 six storey mixed use buildings of 616 units, was revealed to the public.

The Country Club opened in 1965 and was originally known as the Board of Trade Golf Course. The course is an 18-hole championship course designed by the much-admired Canadian architect Howard Watson. Later, Arthur Hills, Arnold Palmer's most famous design partner, modified the golf course. Throughout its time, The Country Club was host to many prestigious amateur and professional tournaments, such as the 1967 Carling World won by Billy Casper, and the 1986 du Maurier Classic, at the time an LPGA major championship, and the Canadian Amateur Championship.

The Country Club is a vast green space that is a part of the Humber River Valley system and a natural heritage site of the local community. It is a place of beauty in all four seasons, providing beautiful vistas along the winding bends of Clarence Avenue. It is a refreshing urban oasis for all, with wetlands in adjoining valleys and habitat for all sorts of wildlife, including many species that are at risk, such as the Bank Swallow, Eastern Wood-Pewee and endangered bat species, to name a few.

This vast green space is a serene setting that gives a sense of well-being and calm in our busy lives. There is growing evidence that we gain specific physical and mental health benefits from living in clean, healthy ecosystems and from having access to natural areas and biodiversity. While mental illness is one of the leading causes of disability in Canada, the destruction of this magnificent green space irreversibly takes away one of the most effective treatments of stress and anxiety known to mankind!

The City of Vaughan protects its architectural heritage, its century homes such as the Wallace House on Woodbridge Avenue, and celebrates its rural past with its Agricultural Fair in the Fall. Its Regional Official Plan also prohibits development of the green lands within the city, for which this golf course is a part!

The proposed development of The Country Club disregards this natural and historic heritage. The development will add some 4000 new residents, 2500 additional vehicles, and all sorts of service vehicles to the already congested local streets. Several thousands of healthy, mature trees that populate the golf course will have disappeared as the current bylaws that protect them will certainly have been defiled. The beauty, heritage, and legacy of the Woodbridge core will be gone forever!

This petition calls upon the City of Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua and Councillors (Gino Rosati, Mario Ferri, Linda Jackson, Marilyn Iafrate, Tony Carella, Rosanna DeFrancesca, Sandra Yeung Racco, Alan Shefman), York Region Chair Wayne Emmerson, the Premier of Ontario Doug Ford, Member of Provincial Parliament for Vaughan Michael Tibollo, Provincial Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry John Yakabuski, Provincial Minister of the Environment, conservation and parks Jeff Yurek, Provincial Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport Lisa MacLeod, Provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs Steve Clark, Member of Parliament for Vaughan-Woodbridge Francesco Sorbara, and Federal Minister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbeault to oppose the development of The Country Club by recognizing how invaluable it is to our cultural and natural heritage.