Share your thoughts on the future of Golf Courses in Toronto in an online survey until July 12, 2021.

The City is conducting an operational review of our five City-operated golf course locations to better understand how to maximize golf and non-golf experiences.

Project Timeline

  • June 2021: Phase 1, City-wide engagement
  • June to July 2021: Phase 2, local community engagement
  • August 2021: Operational Review Report drafted
  • Fall 2021: Staff report and recommendations sent to Council

The timeline is subject to change.

The City is currently conducting an operational review of its five golf course locations: Dentonia Park, Humber Valley, Don Valley, Scarlett Woods and Tam O’Shanter. This work includes:

  • A review of golf course operations
  • A financial review of operating revenues, expenditures, and required capital investments
  • A review and analysis of potential future operating models
  • A jurisdictional scan for best practices
  • Industry and market analysis to understand trends
  • Stakeholder engagement to understand golf user experience at these courses
  • Stakeholder engagement on potential complementary and/or alternative uses at these courses

Purpose and Timing of the Review

Existing golf course operations contracts will be expiring and have been extended through 2022 (with an optional extension to 2023) to allow time for staff to develop and recommend a comprehensive sourcing strategy for golf operations. The review was also initiated at a time when City-operated locations were experiencing a number of challenging trends in a shifting industry landscape. A review of the existing model is necessary to ensure long-term financial sustainability, improved customer service, and a more positive user experience for people accessing the golf courses. These trends include:

  • Decreasing rates of play from 2013-2019
  • Changes to rates of play
    • More 9-hole golf being played and less 18-hole golf
    • More seniors as opposed to adults
  • Increasing operating costs
  • Significant state-of-good-repair costs for capital maintenance and inability to invest in improvements at these sites

In 2020, however, there was an increase in demand and use of City-operated golf courses due to COVID-19 restrictions as golf was one of the few outdoor recreation and social activities allowed during the 2020 golf season.

COVID-19 restrictions have also highlighted the importance of parkland and the public’s interest in improving the use and programming of outdoor green spaces. The general public has become more engaged in how outdoor spaces are being used, who has access to these spaces, and whether each space is being used to its full public potential. These new questions and concerns are also being applied to the City’s golf courses.

The City operates five golf courses across under a mixed operating model.

  • These courses are primarily owned by either the City of Toronto or the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority (TRCA)
  • Under the current mixed model:
    • Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PFR) maintains golf course assets and turf
    • Private operators manage ticket sales, golf cart rentals, pro shops, and food and beverage operations
  • All golf courses are designated parkland and governed by the City of Toronto’s Ravine and Natural Feature Protection by-law and TRCA regulations

While we aim to provide fully accessible content, there is no text alternative available for some of the content on this site. If you require alternate formats or need assistance understanding our maps, drawings, or any other content, please contact Alex Deighan at 416-338-5123 or Alex.Deighan@toronto.ca.

A map of Toronto which shows the five city-operated golf courses and their size. Each location is marked by a green circle and is organized as a grid by municipal ward. Locations from east to west include Tam O'Shanter (42.5ha), Dentonia Park (14.5ha), Don Valley (74.8ha), Scarlett Woods (24.8ha) and Humber Valley (43.0ha).

The goals of this project are to:

  • Continue to provide access to high-quality and affordable golf in the city
  • Improve golf-related amenities (clubhouses, food and beverage offerings, customer service, etc.)
  • Ensure responsible environmental stewardship and management of the sites
  • Advance the parkland and recreational needs of non-golfers with innovative programming, shared use arrangements, and increased access to these spaces where possible
  • Advance a winter use strategy to improve access and activation during non-golf season
  • Maintain a sustainable and financially responsible model
  • Balance multiple and competing desired uses

The initial ideas being explored by the City for each golf course location will be further developed through research and public and stakeholder engagement and include:

  • Improving golf courses for golf uses
  • Improving complementary non-golf access to courses (e.g. providing complementary recreational programming, trail connections, and/or winter uses)
  • Expanding recreational opportunities on portions of courses (e.g. adding new recreation amenities or sports fields)
  • Implementing environmental improvements
  • Providing access to food growing opportunities
  • Facilitating opportunities for Indigenous cultural practices

The following uses are not currently permitted or possible at each golf course location:

  • Building large facilities within floodplains
  • Selling or disposing of parkland
  • Development of residential uses
  • Free golf (the City does not have the resources to offer fully subsidized golf for everyone)

June 14, 2021

Virtual Public Meeting

A virtual public meeting took place on June 14 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to discuss the future of Toronto’s City-operated golf courses. The meeting focused on sharing information about the City of Toronto’s Golf Operational Review project and collecting feedback on current and potential future uses of the five City-operated golf courses.

The meeting summary will be posted here when available.

City-Wide Online Survey

Take the online survey to share your thoughts on the future of Golf Courses in Toronto.

The survey is available from June 14 to July 12, 2021.

Local Virtual Community Meetings

There will be one virtual community meeting for each of the five City-operated golf courses.

Join us to learn more about the operational review, get engaged in the conversation and share your thoughts and perspectives on the future of specific golf courses.

Meetings are limited to 200 people to allow for use of live closed captioning and live closed captioning translation features (over 100 languages available).

Tam O’Shanter Local Community Meeting

Don Valley Local Community Meeting

Humber Valley Local Community Meeting

Scarlett Woods Local Community Meeting

Dentonia Park Local Community Meeting

Community and Stakeholder Engagement

The review of City golf course operations, including opportunities for improvements and potential alternative and/or complementary uses, will be informed in part by a city-wide engagement process with the general public, key stakeholders, Indigenous communities and local communities that surround each location. Feedback from both golfers and non-golfers will be incorporated throughout the process.

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