Oakville exploring option to keep Winston Park West lands as parkland


Published November 25, 2020 at 2:51 pm

Oakville mayor Rob Burton recently announced that Ontario has declared “Winston Park West,” a property also referred to as “The Parkway,” surplus to provincial program, requires 13 years ahead of the expiry of the Town’s lease on the land for use as parkland.

“I have told the Province the Town has no interest in giving up its lease on the lands and is interested in maintaining its use of the land,” said Burton.

“When the process permits, I will be asking Council to take the necessary steps to keep our use of the lands as parkland for trails and for rugby playing fields on Ninth Line. A significant part of the land is protected Joshua Creek valley lands.”

The province of Ontario will conduct due diligence on the site prior to any sale, including heritage, archaeological and environmental assessments, appraisals and duty to consult.

This year, private contractors have been on the site conducting due diligence work.

The province is not required to and does not provide notice of such work and has told the Town to refer inquiries to Infrastructure Ontario.

Additionally, Ontario may decide not to proceed with a sale if they find an issue with the property in their due diligence.

Should the province decide to proceed with a sale, certain government agencies – Federal Government, municipalities, school boards, public colleges and universities, eligible indigenous communities and eligible not for-profit corporations, in that order, will have the chance to express interest in acquiring the property for public use.

While the Town expressed interest to preserve their options to purchase the land, they were circulated as part of the surplus process.

Should no deal be worked out with the entities above, the province would then expose the property to the open market.

“Expressing interest does not commit the Town or the Province to complete a purchase and sale of the property, but means the Town and Province will be eligible to have discussions with the Province to see if a direct deal can be agreed upon,” concluded Burton.

After the Province finishes its due diligence and confirms it is willing to sell the property to the Town, Council will receive a report and have a better idea of the potential purchase price before deciding how to proceed.

The Town is also evaluating other surplus Provincial lands in Oakville on the attached list for any potential or appropriate town use.

Ontario acknowledged in its declaration of the lands being surplus to the Province’s needs, that the land continues to be leased for the next 13 years to the Town of Oakville for parkland uses.

The Town of Oakville’s lease on the land dates back to 1958.

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