OCPM Urban Master Plan, Les Amis 2004

Brief to the Office de la consultation publique de Montreal,

Re the Montreal Urban Master Plan

Subject : 4.19 Detailing Planning area

Meadowbrook Golf Course its protection and enhancement

Presented Monday June 22nd 2004 7: 30 p.m.

Centre 7400 St. Laurent Blvd.

Les Amis de Meadowbrook,


e-mail: savemeadow@yahoo.ca.

Tel. (514)-484-8668

Contact Jo Ann Goldwater

Brief written and presented by:

Avrom David Shtern,

Wendy Dodge,


Dida Berku,

Meadowbrook Golf Course:


To secure and enhance Meadowbrook as an ecologically sensitive greenspace, golf

course, recreational area and buffer zone. Its preservation must be assured in a

comprehensive manner, taking into account, adjacent properties, bounded on the west by

heavy industries, toxic waste sites, railways and on the east by residential

neighbourhoods. The protection of Meadowbrook will benefit flora,fauna and the human

environment. All these must be included in the urban master plan and accompanying

zoning by-laws.

Section 1:

Physical/Historical/Ecological profiles:

Physical profile:

Meadowbrook covers 57 hectares, (141 acres), and straddles two boroughs:


— 31 hectares in Cote Saint-Luc/Hampstead/Montreal West

— 26 hectares in Lachine. (Formerly Ville St. Pierre) ( see Annex 1)

Historical profile:

The site was originally used as farmland prior to being purchased by the

Canadian Pacific Railway for recreational purposes for its employees. (circa 1917). It was

transformed into an 18 hole golf course in the 1930’s and remains in use to this date as a

public golf course; although now leased to a private operator. Over the years, the land’s

name has changed from Canadian Pacific Recreation Club, to Wentworth Golf Club to the

present name of Meadowbrook. ( see Annex 1)

Cultural significance:

Meadowbrook’s architectural design as a golf course is of interest, as it represents an

older style that is quickly disappearing, according to Graham Cooke expert Golf course


Patrimonial value:

One of the tributaries of the historic St. Pierre River, (Hochelaga

Settlement), is present on the southern part of the golf course.

(Lachine).Although this southern branch of the Little St. Pierre is heavily polluted, today

some consideration should be given to revitalizing this river in order to capture storm

water overflow. The MUC Environment Committee classified it at its highest level (Indice

Ruisso, IR=5). Most of the stream was capped in the 1950’s and converted into a storm

sewer/collector. (See Annex 2)

Ecological value and biological diversity:

Meadowbrook possesses valuable visual and physical features in terms of its vegetation

and topography including rolling hills, mature trees and water features. It is an ecological

zone for wildlife including fox, skunk, ground hog, hare, frogs, etc. A wide variety of birds

nest there. Ducks roost in the early spring due to the availability of water runoff. Canada

geese and other migratory birds use it as a way station. Many valuable trees are present,

some over 75-100 years old: Basswood, white ash, black cherry, bitternut hickory, white

willow, as well as silver maple to name a few. According to Michel Labreque tree

physiologist of the Institut de recherche en biologie végétale: in a report written on June

1st 1994

«Le principal intérêt écologique du territoire réside probablement dans le rôle de tampon

qu’il joue. Le terrain de golf Meadowbrook constitue une superficie importante qui sépare

des quartiers à vocations fort différentes. D’un côté la zone industrielle de Ville St-Pierre,

le l’autre des quartiers résidentielles de Côte St-Luc et de Montréal Ouest. Le

développement du secteur en zone domiciliaire aurait pour effet de détruire cette zone

tampon essentielle, je crois, à la qualité de vie et l’environnement des résidants.


Le territoire de Meadowbrook supporte une diversité importante d’espèces végétales et

animales dont plusieurs sont menacées de disparaître suite au développement d’un

complexe domiciliaire. A l’échelle de l’île de Montréal les espaces verts se font de plus en

plus rares et chaque fois qu’un terrain boisé disparaît c’est un morceau de nature et la

toute la diversité biologique qui disparaît en même temps. Le territoire comme celui dont il

est question constitue une île dans un océan d’asphalte et de béton, le projet de

développement la menace de disparition et cette disparition aura certes des

conséquences sur les populations de plantes, d’oiseaux et des autres animaux de

l’ensemble de l’environnement de la région. »

(See Annex 3)


As major green space:

Between Mount Royal Park to the east, Angrignon Park to the South, and Bois de Liesse

Park to the northwest Meadowbrook is the only significant green space in the West End.

It is as far west from central Montreal as Maisonneuve Park, (a former golf course), is to

Mount Royal’s eastern slope. With its century-old trees, it acts as the “lungs of the West

End”. In view of the present distribution of major regional parks on the island,

Meadowbrook is the only remaining large tract of land of its size in Montreal’s west-central core. No other green space in this sector could replace it as a regional park. (See Annex 4, , 5 )

As a buffer zone:

Situated on the western border of the borough of Cote Saint Luc/Hampstead

Montreal West, this golf course is landlocked and accessible only from the east through

Cote St Luc Road. Surrounded on three sides by the CP railway tracks and yards, it

serves as a buffer zone for the residential areas protecting them from the railway tracks

and industrial/rail yards situated in the Lachine and Cote Saint Luc sectors. These tracks are used for the transportation of passenger, cargo and hazardous materials and are operating 24 hours a day.

Other industrial activities in the adjacent properties along rue Norman and Highway 20,

include chemical yards, automobile transfer compounds, high-tension wires, the future

AMT Sortin commuter coach yard, (if the MUHC is built on the Glen Yard). Furthermore, a recently announced zoning change in the Lachine sector, providing for new industrial

installations just west of the Club House have recently been successfully contested by the residents of Lachine and Montreal West. Their objections to this development further underlines the need to refrain from increasing commercial and traffic generating activities in this vicinity.

The “technological risk” to the Meadowbrook environment has often been recognized by

the MUC in reports and resolutions dating back to 1990. (See Resolution September 8th

2003, and all resolutions and reports attached in Annex 6). As well the safe distance

setbacks between industrial facilities and sensitive land uses have not been adequately


addressed in Quebec as they have been in Ontario by the Ontario Municipal Guidelines

on compatibility between industry and sensitive land uses. (See Annex 6)

The question of reasonable setbacks and guidelines for ecological and technological risks should be included in the Master plan to avoid conflicts between heavy industrial and sensitive residential uses. For too long municipalities have encroached up to the limits of industrial and railway yard facilities which had pre-existing rights without regard for the need for safe distance set backs. These conflicts must be resolved in our urban setting in order to achieve the balance of peaceful living along side productive economic activity.

Recommendation: Introduce safe distance guidelines to protect sensitive land uses such as residential and institutional facilities from heavy and incompatible industrial activities.

The importance of public safety and security, access and emergency evacuations have

often been raised by the MUC and the former cities of Montreal West and Côte Saint Luc in connection with the preservation of Meadowbrook. The value and vocation of this site as a necessary green space protecting the health and safety of its surrounding

populations has often been recognized.(See Annex 6). The proposed Montreal Urban

Master Plan recognizes Meadowbrook’s significance as a valuable green space in terms

of public security, health and welfare of its neighbouring citizens. In its description of this

site as a “ secteur de planification détaillé”. the City of Montreal has urged the concerned boroughs to find an accommodation for this site. (See Master Plan Annex 7) This is commendable.

Recommendation: Les Amis de Meadowbrook hereby recommends that the Master

Urban Plan declare clearly that the preferred vocation for Meadowbrook be as a green

space/ golf course and that the zoning be amended to reflect the reality in both the Cote

Saint Luc and Lachine sectors.

“L’interarrondissémentalité” and contiguous zoning:

In this case there is a conflict of zoning. In the year 2000, after many years of debate,

controversy and public outcry, the former City of Côte Saint Luc re-zoned the 9 holes in its jurisdiction as Recreational/Commerce. The Lachine borough inherited the zoning from Ville St. Pierre which is residential medium to high density for approximately 1200 housing units. This conflict of zoning engenders many debates and discussions. The future status of Meadowbrook affects these and other sectors of the west end including Côte-des-Neiges/NDG.

Recommendation: It is imperative that neighbouring boroughs be included in the

decision making process when major projects from one borough affect a wider area. This recommendation is all the more true in light of the recent controversy regarding the zoning changes in the Lachine sector. Only after the residents of Montreal West organized did the Lachine borough come to respect and consider the impact that the proposed asphalt and decontamination platform would have on its neighbours. This type of consultation should


be obligatory and be applied as well to any development proposal on the Meadowbrook

site. ( See Annex 8, 9 )

Recreation and tourism:

According to a 1989 report of the MUC Planning Department entitled “Projet de politique

sur les espaces verts” there is a need for eight additional golf courses on the Island of

Montreal. The norm is one 18 hole golf course per 100,000 people. Montreal Island

needs eighteen courses. Only 9 public golf courses exist: Three have 36 holes, three

have 18 holes including Meadowbrook, and three are 9 hole courses. In addition to the

Nun’s Island driving range, there are three private courses in the City of Montreal. Golf

Gardens in Saint Laurent Borough is the latest course to close. (See Annex 10, 11)

As well Fairmont Hotels who presently owns the course, have an award winning Green

Partnership Program committed to environmentally responsible golf course management.

A major thrust of this initiative is the enrolment of all Fairmount Hotels golf courses in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System, a program designed to optimise the use of golf course green space as a refuge and habitat for wildlife. (See Annex 12 )

Recommendation That Meadowbrook be included in a recreo-touristique network, which would link downtown and cross island hotels to island wide recreational activity, such as golf, boating and bicycling, nature walks, beaches etc…

Suggested Corrections

It should also be noted that the Master Urban Plan does not recognize the golf zoning on the Cote Saint Luc side nor does it recognize the golf use in two maps. These should be corrected .Map 2.5.1. Parks and Green spaces and the Maps in section of 5 dealing with the borough of Côte Saint Luc in particular map of the Affection de sol.

Section 2

Conservation and management objectives:

  • • Supplement the deficiency of natural spaces in the West End of Montreal.
  • • Preserve biodiversity by protecting the remaining natural spaces of
  • • ecological interest
  • • Preserve Meadowbrook as a public golf course. It is centrally located

and serves a diverse clientele including many seniors.

  • • Increase public accessibility to Meadowbrook’s natural spaces.
  • • Preserve the inherent value of Meadowbrook as a buffer zone or

“zone tampon” between heavy industry, the railways and the residential sectors.

  • • Maintain it as a valuable winter recreational resource. For example,

Cross country skiing and snow shoeing, etc.


  • • Develop the potential of Meadowbrook through recreational tourism and connect

the site by train with downtown hotels as it was done in the past.

  • • Draw up a protection plan based upon the New Master Urban Plan in concert with

the concerned boroughs.

  • • “Green the greens”. That is apply the policy of Fairmont Hotels particularly the

initiative of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System. This includes: