Another Montreal golf course could be gone!
Montreal golf – A coalition of environmental groups appears to be winning its battle to have Golf d’Anjou soon become a nature park. In March, the local Anjou borough council voted to rezone the 75-hectare golf course as a park of a different kind—an industrial park. That change was requested by the owner, the Di Lillo family reports Transcontinental Media.
“The race is on to save the last large green spaces on Montreal Island before it is too late,” spokesperson Lisa Mintz told The Times. “Montreal has less greenspace per capita than any large city in North America. The previous administration voted in 2015 to preserve a modest 10% of the land area of Montreal Island as greenspace, but with no plan on how to do that. We quickly need another 2,000 hectares of parkland if we are to ever achieve our goal.”
Mintz and other environmentalists want Golf d’Anjou be purchased by the city and joined with an adjacent 40-hectare woodland already purchased as green belt.
“It is very important to support the call of environmentalists to preserve the Anjou Golf Course in order to create a large park for the East of Montreal,” said Patrick Barnard, another spokesperson for the group.
“The lack of environmental action on the part of both the previous Tremblay and Coderre administrations was truly shocking. Take the Anjou Woods for example — a 40 hectare site purchased by Montreal in the 1990s but utterly neglected since that time,” continued Barnard.
There are no trails in Anjou Woods or infrastructures of any kind. A CBC reporter visiting the area in 2017 was “expelled from the golf course” before she could enter the woods, underlying how difficult access is. Mintz recounts a very similar experience happening to her earlier this month.
Barnard and Mintz attended a press conference at Montreal City Hall on May 23 with Mayor Valérie Plante and Luc Ferrandez, the Montreal elected official responsible for large parks. That event was described as “a first step” in turning the Anjou golf course into a park.
“We should not be timid, we have to be audacious, we have to be courageous. We are doing this for the present, but also for future generations,” Plante declared about how her new administration will follow through on protecting 10 percent of Montreal Island as greenspace.
The Conseil régional de l’environnement (CRE) is leading the fight to save Anjou Golf Course. Recently, the Sierra Club Québec, Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook, Les amis du parc Angrignon, Sauvons L’Anse-à-L’Orme, Technoparcoiseaux, Sauvons la Falaise, STOP and the Green Coalition all added their support.
The same press conference also announced a 40 hectare new park in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue; Ferrandez promised news soon on a third large park, but declined to give further details. Mintz, the founder of Sauvons la Falaise, told The Times she hopes that the third park will be the Falaise St. Jacques, straddling NDG and the Southwest borough.
Protected greenspaces on Montreal Island are unevenly distributed with 718 hectares in western regions versus only 222 hectares in the East according to Transcontinental.
The entrance to Golf d’Anjou is at 9555 Blvd du Golf, just north of Highway 40 and a little east of Ray Lawson Blvd.. Golf d’Anjou and the Anjou Woods together total some 115 hectares. By comparison, Mount Royal Park is about 215 hectares.
Feature image: Golf d’Anjou is an 18-hole par 72 course with 5 different tee-offs to “accommodate various golfers from beginners to expert level,” according its website. Mintz also noted 30 species of birds there. Photo courtesy Lisa Mintz