Rosedale Golf Club cuts down 55 trees
Thirty-six of the trees were removed to manage shading on golf greens
The club expects to plant 150 new trees in the spring
Residents near the Rosedale Golf Club (RGC) have been questioning why the private course decided to remove a significant number of trees from its property and are also questioning the club’s use of pesticides.
In Oct. 20, 2017, a permit was granted to RGC by City of Toronto Urban Forestry Management for the removal of 55 trees –– 36 of them were removed to manage shading of the golf course greens, only six were in poor condition. According to a representative from Urban Forestry, RGC paid a security fee of $96,150 for a future ravine stewardship plan.
However, this decision doesn’t sit well with Shirelle Layton, a resident and board member of Bedford-Wanless Ratepayers Association, who often runs around the area that borders RGC.
“That’s crazy,” she said. “I’m quite surprised that decision had even been approved.”
Private golf clubs like RGC are subject to the same laws and restrictions as city-owned courses, with some bylaw exemptions. City experts confirmed that both the tree cutting and pesticide use were regulated and approved.
Ward 25 councillor Jaye Robinson has fielded concerns from her constituents.
“I may not necessarily agree with [the tree cutting] because I think we should be saving every possible tree in the city, especially very mature trees, but staff have simply said they [RGC] are exempted from the bylaw,” she said.
Peter Oldfield, general manager of RGC, and Jeff Stauffer, the course supervisor, met with Robinson in late January where the residents’ concerns were discussed. According to Stauffer, the pesticide products were approved by federal and provincial governments and Stauffer affirmed that the products are not harmful to pets, wildlife or people walking through the grounds.
In fact, despite being a private golf club with initiation fees of $90,000, Oldfield said the property is open to “anybody who would like to walk their dog or go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing,” and RGC tries to maintain the property to allow that.
According to Oldfield, this also means being good caretakers of the land, which includes the city’s vast natural heritage system of ravines, valleys, rivers and wildlife that wind through the golf course.
“We see our property as a very special place and environment,” said Oldfield.
RGC will be filing a ravine stewardship plan this year and expects to plant roughly 150 new trees in the spring.