The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear the City of Ottawa’s appeal of a decision allowing development on the land where the Kanata Golf and Country Club is located.
In November 2021, owner ClubLink won its own appeal to the Ontario Superior Court which overturned a lower court decision that sided with the city, after a years-long battle to prevent ClubLink of turn the golf course into a housing estate.
The city wanted to appeal the Ontario Superior Court’s decision, but on Thursday the Supreme Court decided it would not hear it and awarded costs to ClubLink.
“It was certainly frustrating, disappointing, but we already know that we still have many, many avenues to explore,” said Kanata North Coun. Cathy Curry.
The area in question functions as a golf course for six months, but becomes a public park for the other half of the year. It also plays an important role in the management of rainwater, according to the city councilor.
“If there were housing on that land, the water would have nowhere to go and we would be in a lot of trouble,” Curry explained.
At the heart of the case are the facts of a 1981 agreement — which has been updated several times, including when ClubLink purchased the property 23 years ago — between the former town of Kanata and the operator at the time.
The group emphasizes environmental sustainability
This agreement provided that 40% of the Kanata Lakes area would be protected as open space in perpetuity. It also established guidelines for land use and ownership should the original golf course owner decide to retire from the business.
The Kanata Greenspace Protection Coalition has been fighting for years to make sure the 40% deal is enforced.
“It really is an obstacle, but the race continues,” said the president Barbara Ramsay spoke about the Supreme Court decision.
She also highlighted the importance of land for environmental sustainability.
“Given what’s going on with our environment, given the storms…that we’ve seen over the last three or four months, it becomes a really big deal.”
Adviser says court may regret decision
The case will now return to Ontario Superior Court and Ramsay said his group will spend the rest of the summer preparing for court appearances scheduled for September 13 and 14.
The city confirmed those dates in a statement to CBC.
In accordance with its usual practice, the Supreme Court did not provide any details for its decision.
Curry said one of the next steps the city is considering is an environmental assessment, adding that there is a long list of conditions that would need to be met before the homes can be built.
The councilor also said that while the court has not agreed to hear the city’s case, she suspects it may deal with long-term land deals again in the future.
“I wish the Supreme Court had thought about it longer,” Curry said. “I think it will come back to them and they will regret not dealing with it now.”