City of Toronto Approves Improved Model for Municipal Golf Courses

Following an extensive study and public forum, Toronto City Council has adopted a hybrid operating model in order to prolong the success of its five municipal golf courses.

Likely the best hole at Humber Valley comes at the par 3, 16th against the Humber River.

Specifically, the City will oversee green fees and maintenance of Dentonia Park, Don Valley, Humber Valley, Scarlett Woods, and Tam O’Shanter, while the pro shop and food & beverage side of each facility will be provided by a single private contractor. Perhaps when I go to Humber Valley I will not be told they cannot fill my water bottle up with ice (even pre-COVID-19)? With a private contractor, service will likely increase.

A subsidized fee program for low-income families, continuation of 18 holes at Dentonia Park, increase in diversity, and off-season public use of the golf courses (including snowshoeing, disc golf, and winter snow loops) are among the numerous exciting initiatives announced.

A step in the right direction, no doubt, and hopefully leads to opportunities to continue to advance the experience at the municipal golf scene in the city. Cam Tyers is currently restoring parts of Herbert Strong’s Lakeview Golf Course in Mississauga… how good would it be to have Keith Cutten, Jeff Mingay, Andy Staples, Ian Andrew, and maybe a new guy like Josh McFadden or Ben Malach take a crack at introducing exciting architecture at all five golf courses? Perhaps in the coming decade the opportunity will exist.

For one, I’d like to see the City of Toronto look to models like Winter Park in Orlando to build a successful municipal golf experience and operation. Even more than that, though, it would be great to see residents of Toronto band together and achieve that “cult following” those success stories in the United States have.

For those interested, they can read the full Press Release from the City of Toronto here.

Lakeview Golf Course’s Restoration of the 17th hole.

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