At the Council meeting on December 13, 2017, Brampton City Council authorized staff to proceed with the purchase of the Riverstone Golf Club, including the clubhouse building and surrounding valley lands.
The Riverstone Clubhouse will be converted to a 34,000-square-foot recreation facility including:
- An updated pool area, including a salt water pool
- Expanded change rooms and fitness rooms
- Several multi-purpose rooms
While the Riverstone Community Centre is intended to serve residents of all ages, there will be an emphasis on programming to meet the needs of older adults. The centre is expected to offer options similar to the Flower City Seniors Recreation Centre, with the additional benefit of aquatics and fitness facilities on site.
The valley lands (formerly the golf course) will be re-naturalized by the City, in cooperation with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, to create a conservation area with recreational trails. This will provide habitat for local wildlife and public trails to encourage active living.
The purchase of the Riverstone property will benefit the city in many ways:
- Expanded recreation opportunities for residents on the east side of Brampton.
- Providing valuable new amenities for our growing senior population, including a salt water pool.
- By renovating an existing facility instead of building new, the City will save millions of dollars and years of construction time.
- The new conservation area will provide important ecological benefits, including protecting the West Humber tributary and providing habitat for Redside Dace, an endangered species of fish.
- Recreational opportunities at the centre and on the public trails will help to encourage an active lifestyle, which is important for the long-term health of our community.
- The multi-purpose trails will provide a new connection with the Gore Meadows Community Park, Claireville Conservation Area and beyond. This will provide important new options for active transportation on the east side of the city.
The City has signed an agreement to purchase the property, not the golf business. The price in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale is $9 million plus a $2.6 million contribution for capital improvements. The purchase price includes the clubhouse building, land around the building (to be used as overflow parking), and surrounding parcels of land. The capital improvement contribution will enable the seller to do the work necessary to convert the clubhouse to a public recreation centre.
The vast majority of the funds will come from development charges (paid by developers), with only approximately $500,000 in tax dollars required to complete the purchase.
The decision to purchase the Riverstone clubhouse and surrounding lands was based on extensive consultation with Brampton residents, community groups, and businesses during the development of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.
The new community centre is expected to open to the public in 2019, after the seller has completed the necessary renovations. By purchasing an existing facility, the City will be able to provide this much-needed community centre five to seven years earlier than if it built new.