Arrowdale Muncipal Golf Course Decision of Council – Commonly Asked Questions

On December 17, 2019 Brantford City Council voted to direct staff to dispose of 34 acres of the 49 acres of City owned lands currently known as the Arrowdale Muncipal Golf Course through a fair and open process. The final decision was passed by a vote of 8-3. As per City Council’s direction, 15 acres of the lands will be retained for future parkland in a location determined by Brantford City staff who shall consult with the public on both the design of the park and the amenities to be situated in the park.

The City of Brantford respects the community’s right to voice any concerns they have regarding decisions of Council through respective and civil public discourse. We also appreciate that there are individuals who feel very passionate in their opposition to Council’s decision with respect to Arrowdale Golf Course, however, it is important to ensure that accurate information is being communicated and shared publicly. To that end, we are pleased to provide the following responses to the current most commonly asked questions regarding Arrowdale Muncipal Golf Course.

Were the lands gifted to the City and are there any conditions limiting the City’s right to dispose of the property?
 The City of Brantford is the current owner of the property. No portion of the property was gifted or bequeathed to the City. There are no conditions attached to the property limiting the City’s right to dispose of it.

Listed below is a history of the land transfers by which the City acquired title to the property.

May 7th, 1928 – The City acquired the lands as in instrument number CB72920 from Edward Ramage, as the Executor of the Estate for John D. Reynolds for the purchase price of $5000.00;

  • January 22nd, 1929 – The City acquired the lands as in instrument number CB74073 from Waterous Limited for the purchase price of $1000.00;
  • January 22, 1929 – The City acquired the lands as in instrument number CB74074 from John English and Mary English for the purchase price of $5,000.00;
  • September 5th, 1929 – The City acquired the lands as in instrument number CB75152 from Thomas and Clara Kipp for the purchase price of $1500.00;
  • August 28th, 1934 – The City acquired the lands as in instrument number CB80257 from Mary Evans for the purchase price of $483.45. As indicated on the Land Transfer Tax Affidavit,  the said lands were taken for tax arrears owing to the City;
  • December 13th, 1935 – The City acquired the lands as in instrument number CB81272 from Mary Evelyn Agnew Buck and John Mckay Ferguson, on behalf of the Estate of George Phillip Buck for the purchase price of $6,000.00
  • February 27th, 1992 – The City acquired the lands as in instrument number A412988 from the Brant County Board of Education for the purchase price of $1. This was a correcting deed/land exchange with the School Board (Board) as the City conveyed land to the Board and the Board conveyed  land back to the City. 
What is the current status of the property?
As per Brantford City Council’s approved resolution - 11.3.14 of Committee of the Whole – Operations and Administration Report #2019-12-10 dated December 17, 2019, City staff are directed to continue to operate Arrowdale as a golf course for the 2020 golf season and to ensure that the sale of Arrowdale Golf Course, and all documents and agreements relating to said sale, contain provisions to allow for the completion of the 2020 golf season. To date, the City of Brantford has not received any offers to purchase the property.
Who is or who may be listing the property when it goes up for sale? Who is involved in the transaction and how are offers presented to City Council?

The selection of a listing agent will be determined through a fair and transparent process that will make sure  that The Corporation of the City of Brantford’s needs are fairly and objectively represented to yield maximum results. The City of Brantford’s Manager of Real Estate will coordinate this process with the assistance of the City’s Real Estate Committee, which is made up of senior staff of the City. Members of City Council are not involved in this stage of the process.

The sale will be conducted in accordance with the City’s policies, with a view to ensuring accountability and transparency and affording interested persons/parties opportunities to submit offers. All offers received within the prescribed listing timeframe will be presented to Council for consideration by way of a staff report, which will contain recommendations by staff with respect to the best offer. Real estate reports are typically first discussed in closed session, after which Council provides direction to staff to place the matter on a by-law for consideration by Council in open session. The sales by-law will be on a public agenda, and will be considered by Council at a public meeting.

What will be done with the proceeds from the sale of Arrowdale lands?
As per the approved decision of Brantford City Council, proceeds from the sale of Arrowdale lands less any costs associated with the sale will be allocated to fund affordable housing projects within the municipal boundaries of the City of Brantford. Property tax revenues generated from the redevelopment of the land will be transferred to a reserve fund annually to be used for affordable housing. The City of Brantford’s Finance department has stringent protocols in place to ensure that funds are dispersed transparently, in accordance with direction and decisions of Brantford City Council.
What is the current zoning of the property, and what is the detailed process, including any public consultation required, to have that property rezoned? 

The subject lands are currently zoned Open Space Type 1 “OS1” Zone in the City’s Zoning by-law and designated Major Open space/Specialized Park in the City’s Official Plan.

Amendments to both the Official Plan and Zoning By-law would be required to permit the redevelopment of these lands.  This process would be completed under the requirements of the Planning Act and City of Brantford procedures that would include a Ward Meeting and a formal public meeting held under the Planning Act. This entire process typically takes 6-8 months. Any decision made on such an application is appealable to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).
Considering the age and historical characteristics of the property, what if any, is the heritage significance and status?

Council may designate a property under the Ontario Heritage Act if it meets the criteria for determining cultural heritage value or interest, as prescribed by O. Reg. 9/06 which is organized into three categories:

  • Design or physical value
  • Historical or associative value
  • Contextual value

Regard shall also be had to designation criteria in the City’s Official Plan which follows the criteria of the Ontario Heritage Act.

Planning staff have reviewed the site in terms of its potential for heritage designation under the Ontario Heritage Act and Official Plan and are of the opinion that it does not meet the criteria for designation under the Heritage Act or City Official Plan.

What is the current use of the property, operation hours, and what is the permitted use of the land to private residents, and what applicable by-laws prevent unauthorized entry to the golf course or uses of the property other than golf while it is operational in 2020? 

Arrowdale Municipal Golf Course is in operation daily during the golf season from April 1st until October 31st from 8:00 a.m. to dusk (8:00 or 9:00 p.m. depending on time of year)

The Golf Course is closed during the off season – November 1st until March 31st. All administrative inquiries with respect to Arrowdale Golf Course are managed through Northridge Municipal Golf Course. This year, however, due to the current construction underway at Northridge, Golf admin staff have been relocated to Arrowdale effective November 12, 2019 to March 16, 2020. The Office Admin hours are Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. during the winter months. Unlike a public park, Arrowdale golf course is open only to those who pay a fee to use the course. This is not unlike City-owned pools, where access is restricted to users who pay a fee for this service. Not everyone is free to access these facilities in the same manner as parks or other public spaces.  

What will the new park look like? Will any public consultation take place in the neighbourhood before it is built?

The City has a very comprehensive community engagement process  which it follows when designing a new park that includes several opportunities for the public to provide their feedback and input into the design of the park as well as its features, attributes, uses, etc. Given 15 acres of land have been dedicated to this park, which is far larger than a typical new park development, even more opportunities to provide input will be offered to the community and surrounding neighbourhoods. A public engagement campaign will be implemented and communicated to residents in the area so that meaningful opportunities for public input are provided and thoughtfully considered prior to the park design and development process.

What is the process for the public to challenge and/or question elected officials? What is the role and responsibilities of the Integrity Commissioner in this regard? What Code of Conduct must Councillors follow with respect to public statements made, before, during, and after a council vote?

Generally speaking, members of Council are governed by a Code of Conduct and legislation that prohibits participation in debate or votes where the member may have a pecuniary interest. That is defined by the legislation to include the interest of a body that the council member is a member of.

The Municipal Act, 2001 requires municipalities to establish codes of conduct for members of council and local boards of the municipality. The Code of Conduct for members of Brantford City Council can be found at Chapter 16 of the City of Brantford Municipal Code. This Code of Conduct governs the behaviour of members of council and local boards with respect to one another, staff, and the public.

The Municipal Act, 2001 also requires that municipalities appoint an Integrity Commissioner who reports to Council. The Integrity Commissioner is responsible for, among other things, investigating the application of the Code of Conduct to members of council and local boards; the application of any procedures, rules, and policies of the municipality governing the ethical behaviour of members of council and local boards, and the application of certain sections (5, 5.1 and 5.2) of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act to members of council and local boards.

The Municipal Conflict of Interest Act regulates the behaviour of members of Council and local boards where a member has a pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, in any matter, and is present at a meeting of Council (or local board, as the case may be) at which the matter is being considered.

Members of the public who believe that a member of council has contravened the Code of Conduct may choose to avail themselves of the informal complaint process set out at section 16.2.9 of the Code of Conduct, which includes advising the member of council the his or her behaviour contravenes the Code, and encouraging the member to stop the alleged behaviour. Members of the public may also choose to avail themselves of the formal complaint process set out at section 16.2.10 of the Code of Conduct, which includes submitting a Code of Conduct – Formal Complaint Form to the City Clerk, setting out the grounds for the complaint as well as the evidence to support the alleged breach. This form is then submitted by the City Clerk to the Integrity Commissioner for investigation.

Where a member of Council has contravened the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, a member of the public may, in certain instances, apply to the courts for a determination by a judge on the question of whether or not the member of council contravened certain sections of the Act. 

Members of the public are also free to register as a delegation to speak to matters on a committee or Council agenda.

Individuals, groups, organizations can only appear before Council, a Committee of the Whole, the Finance Committee or the Social Services Committee provided that the subject matter of the delegation directly relates to a matter that already appears on the agenda.

Delegations must complete a delegation request form no later than 9:00 a.m. on the day of the meeting they would like to speak at, and submit it to the City Clerk. The form is available to complete online or hard copy delegation request forms are available at City Hall located at 100 Wellington Sq., Brantford. 

What methods can citizens request access to meeting minutes, public records regarding land ownership, past council decisions, meeting schedules and calendars, operating budgets for City owned properties and municipal records?

Please visit the access our records webpage or call the City’s Customer Contact Centre at 519-759-4150. We will let you know if we can release the information informally, or if you need to complete a formal access request.

The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) enables citizens to protect your privacy as an individual when you provide personal information to institutions such as the City of Brantford. The Act also enables access to municipal records that are available to the public.

How will the current Leagues that play at Arrowdale be accommodated at Northridge Municipal Golf Course?

In the December 17th, 2019 staff Report to Council, staff recommended developing new Tee Sheet Templates with the specific goal of transitioning and accommodating Arrowdale 9 hole golfers. The objective is to add 15 incremental tee times each day to accommodate 60 more golfers, 4 days per week, for the duration of the 6 month golf season. In effect, 60 additional golfers per day x 4 days x 26 weeks will result in accommodating 6,240 additional opportunities for 9-hole golfers at Northridge Municipal Golf Course.

How will the City’s Golf Operations accommodate demand by Junior Golfers?

The 2020 Northridge Municipal Junior Membership Program still has a number of available openings for junior golfers. Typically, approximately 1/3 of junior golfers do not register or sign up for Memberships until July 1st, when the school year is completed and the 30% discount goes into effect at the halfway point of the season.

Furthermore, 15 incremental tee times will be added to the Northridge schedule each day to accommodate 60 more golfers, 4 days per week, for the duration of the 6 month golf season. In effect, 60 additional golfers per day x 4 days x 26 weeks will result in accommodating 6,240 additional opportunities for 9-hole golfers.

Why did the City make this decision when other municipalities like Kitchener have said that they won’t sell municipal golf course lands for affordable housing? 

With respect to Council’s recent decision regarding the sale of Arrowdale Golf Course, Brantford City Council is trying to strike a balance between our community’s desperate housing crisis, while simultaneously responding to the concerns of the Arrowdale neighbourhood by committing to build a 15-acre state of the art park that will not require a membership; hence making the parklands accessible by more people year-round.

We respect that neighbouring municipalities such as Kitchener may have a different approach to mitigating the affordable housing crisis in that community; however, it is important to highlight that Kitchener’s population is double that of Brantford’s and that both of their public courses are profitable, inevitably increasing that City’s revenue. 

For reasons unique to Brantford, we are feeling the affordable housing crisis more acutely than other municipalities. Furthermore, it important to make the contrast that Brantford is a single tier municipality compared to Kitchener that is two-tiered and part of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo. The responsibility for social housing falls under the jurisdiction of the Regional Council.  

What efforts did the City undertake and what activities were implemented to try to make Arrowdale Municipal Golf Course profitable? 

Based on Council direction to make Golf Operations a viable business without being a burden to the taxpayer, City staff have consistently developed and implemented annual business plans for Arrowdale Municipal Golf Course with the goal of becoming revenue neutral. Since the last public discussion regarding Arrowdale in 2015, efforts have been stepped up to make business operations self-sufficient. Examples include:

  • Interior and exterior repairs and upgrades
  • Furnace replacement
  • Competitive membership and green fees
  • Extensive outreach with community organizations to grow League participation
  • Promotion of the Junior Golf program
  • Junior Junior Membership targeted to kids age 6 to 10
  • Incentives for Member referrals
  • Promotional incentives such as daily Mid-Day MadnessTwosome TuesdayKids Play Free after 3 pm (with a paying Adult) and Weekend Family Twilight Golf specials
  • Advertising and sponsorship opportunities to boost alternative revenue sources
  • Arrowdale player privileges at Northridge Golf Course
  • Enhanced marketing campaigns, and the launch of a new Arrowdale Municipal Golf Course microsite in 2019. 

However, despite these investments and efforts of staff, the facility continues to operate at a loss. 

Will the Arrowdale lands' irrigation system be maintained over the winter when it is not in use? 
Yes. As in years prior, City staff will “winterize” the irrigation system plumbing by draining all of the water lines prior to when temperatures are expected to drop below freezing. This will prevent pipes from cracking or bursting during the colder months.
Is there currently an injunction on the property?
Yes, the interim injunction order, which prohibits trespass on the property and prohibits interference with the City’s access to, and activities on, the property, has been extended and currently remains in force. The order can be accessed at

Any additional inquiries may be directed to