Vaudreuil-Dorion buys Harwood Golf Club to preserve as nature reserve
By John Jantak
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Vaudreuil-Dorion council announced it will purchase over two million square feet of land at the former Harwood Golf Club and preserve the area as a nature reserve for its residents.
Vaudreuil-Dorion residents will have more green space to enjoy after city council adopted a resolution at the Monday evening session to begin the acquisition process to purchase the Harwood Golf Club on Route Harwood and conserve it as a public nature reserve.
Mayor Guy Pilon said the announcement was made immediately after the city made a promise to purchase two large parcels of land totalling over two million square feet following an agreement reached with the D’Aoust family who owns the land. The city also adopted a motion for a loan by-law for the purchase during the council meeting. The price tag for the purchase is $2,477,000 and the loan by-law, which includes notarial fees, is $2,662,000.
The D’Aoust family had originally intended to build houses on the property but because of the thick density of the surrounding forest it was impossible to go ahead with that plan. “The project fell through at that point and because we were already in discussions with them we asked them if they would consider selling a part of their land to the town,” Pilon told The Journal.
“They said if we were interested they would consider selling everything. We want to preserve it the way it is. People will be able to go there to take advantage of the green space, to walk their dogs and do other things,” added Pilon.
Protecting green spaces
The city has made significant strides in terms of protecting its dwindling green spaces and creating new recreational spaces for its residents over the past few years. “Vaudreuil-Dorion has a wide range of parks and green spaces. We have more than 50 landscaped parks with play modules, water games and sports fields and four areas where dogs can exercise,” said Pilon.
The mayor also noted that the city has made other major purchases of land to preserve as green spaces in recent years including the acquisition of land belonging to the Pères-des-Sainte-Croix and Frères-des-Sainte-Croix. “The acquisition of the Harwood golf course represents a wonderful opportunity for us to preserve another green space that will benefit our citizens,” said Pilon.
The acquisition of the Harwood Golf Club by the city means that local residents can now stay closer to home to enjoy nature rather than venturing outside the city to visit nature reserves.
Enjoying nature closer to home
“I’m very happy about that. When people in Vaudreuil-Dorion want to go for a walk in nature, they go out of the city to areas like Beaconsfield, Pointe-Claire or Riguaud. We never had a large amount of land like this reserved for nature. This way our residents will be able to get out close to home to throw a Frisbee,” said Pilon.
“This is the first time for us to buy a large land where people will be able to go and just relax and be outside in a beautiful natural setting,” he added. “An opportunity like this doesn’t happen very often and when it does we try to take advantage of it.” The Harwood Golf Club opened in 1999 and served area golfers for just over 20 years.