The Sale of Arrowdale Municipal Golf Course

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Arrowdale – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

In late 2019 city council voted 8-3 to sell the Arrowdale Municipal Golf Course. It did this for two reasons:

  • Attendance was dropping, the course was losing money and it needed a significant capital investment to remain in operation.
  • The money from the sale could be used to finance a pressing community need for more assisted housing.

The decision has been the subject of debate and several court hearings. The goal of this document is to clarify some of the facts around council’s decision.

What is happening to the Arrowdale land?

City council sold 32 acres of the 49-acre property in an open and public process for housing development. The remaining 17 acres will become a public park.

What will the new Arrowdale Park be like?

As a golf course, Arrowdale was off limits to non-paying residents most of the year. It was a popular spot for sledding in the winter, but there was nothing else for non-golfers.

The new 17-acre Arrowdale Park will offer a broad range of activities and spaces for all residents of the city, free and year-round.

That includes: 1.7 km of trails, a fitness loop, bookable picnic areas, a water play area, a sledding hill, a playground, a multi-use court (for pickleball and basketball in the summer, ice skating in the winter), a disc golf course,  an off-leash dog park, free parking and more.

Will assisted housing (rent-geared-to-income) be built on the Arrowdale lands?

No. Instead, the net proceeds of the sale and the future property taxes collected from housing units on the land will be put into a fund that will be used to build more than 500 assisted housing units elsewhere in Brantford and Brant County.

The total income from the Arrowdale sale and tax revenue  will be about $25 million over 10 years.

What type of housing will be built on the Arrowdale land?

The housing will be a mix of private housing units (such as townhouses, apartments or single-family homes)  that will be sold on the open market. In that respect it will look like many other neighbourhoods in the city.

Was there a public and open debate about the sale of Arrowdale?

Yes. The resolution to sell Arrowdale was presented at three committee and council meetings in November-December 2019. More than three dozen presentations were made to council by individuals and organizations.

Later, in a court hearing, opponents of the sale raised questions about the city council process.

A three-member panel of the Ontario Divisional Court decided “there were no procedural errors in the process.” The court also said: “There is no evidence that the councillors who voted to sell Arrowdale were driven by anything other than a genuine desire to service the public interest.” This decision was later upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeals.

Did city council notify Six Nations of the Grand River?

Yes. The Divisional Court examined this question. Evidence at the trial showed staff of the Six Nations Elected Council knew of city council’s plan to sell the property. At the time of the sale, Six Nations was properly notified under the Grand River Notification Agreement. The court said Six Nations “was aware of the issue” and it decided “not to intervene.”

By the numbers

  • Rounds of golf played at Arrowdale went to 18,661 in 2018 from 21,597 in 2016, a drop of 13 per cent. At Northridge (now Walter Gretzky), the number of rounds played was steady at 32,892 in 2016 and 32,935 in 2018.
  • In 2018, Arrowdale recorded a net loss of $104,476 on revenue of $432,441. The same year, Gretzky turned a profit of $166,746 on revenues of $1.48 million.


Produced by the Kevin Davis for Mayor Campaign