What makes Glen Abbey a Cultural Heritage Landscape

Cultural Heritage Landscape Glen Abbey
What makes Glen Abbey a Cultural Heritage Landscape
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Nolan A Machan

Nolan A Machan

Nolan Machan is the Publisher of OakvilleNews.Org and has over 41 years of local Oakville knowledge. He is committed to providing Oakville residents with the most up-to-date information about our great town.

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“What makes Glen Abbey a Cultural Heritage Landscape?” is an important question posed by a local resident. Here is a brief summary of what went into making this decision.

An indepth staff report provides a complete understanding of why Glen Abbey is a Cultural Heritage Landscape. For the people who are wondering if the decision was just aimed at stopping ClubLink’s Application for Development of Glen Abbey, that perspective doesn’t really hold up.

The process of designation is a long one that was started several years ago, when the town decided that it wanted to look at designating several properties as Cultural Heritage Landscapes. One of the properties on that list was the Glen Abbey Property.

Here are some of the salient points from the Staff Report:

Glen Abbey is one of the most significant works by one of golf’s most significant figures, Jack Nicklaus. It ushered in a new era in tournament golf course design with its stadium and hub-and-spoke features. Its design is remarkable for the integration of artistry and craftsmanship, with many iconic stretches including the challenge and beauty of the valley holes and the drama of the final two holes. Its association with the Canadian Open has given it international significance and ties to many of the leading figures in the sport. It is a landmark not only within the Town of Oakville, but across Canada and abroad. The property also contains associations with some previous landscape layers, through surviving remnants or features.

This statement is based on submitted reports two highly-educated, trained, and accredited individuals: Mr Ken Moodie and Mr. Julian Smith.

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Mr. Ken Moodie, the Director of Creative Golf Design, who was part of the team led
by Letourneau Heritage Consulting in Phase Two, was retained to provide an indepth report on the golf course itself, including a hole-by-hole analysis.

Mr. Julian Smith of Julian Smith & Associates Architects was retained to provide
detailed analysis of the cultural heritage value of the Glen Abbey property and in
support of its recognition as a significant cultural heritage landscape.

Chris Stoates article: Glen Abbey Golf Club’s highest and best use sheds a little more detail on the subject.

Designating a property as a Cultural Heritage Landscape is not something any town council would decide lightly, because once the designation is approved there is no turning back. In this case, should Glen Abbey be approved as a Cultural Heritage Landscape, it will always be a golf course. It doesn’t mean that it can’t change and adapt, but the basis of the decision must be upheld.

However, the caveat still exists that ClubLink can and will likely do what it can to ensure that this designation is thwarted. So there are a few more steps to take before the final decision is made.

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