Flamboro Downs is asking the public for help deciding what to do with surplus lands on the Highway 5 property.
Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, the owner and operator of the horse racing facilities at Flamboro Downs, announced May 23 they are looking to allocate surplus land at the site for the development of an outdoor amenity that will benefit the community. The surplus land includes two parcels totalling approximately 50 acres.
To get ideas for the project, Great Canadian initiated an online survey that ran until June 9. Flamboro Downs is also expected to host community workshops to gather further feedback and ideas.
Ward 15 Councillor Judi Partridge said there a number of possibilities available for the property.
“There’s a lot of green space there and certainly a sizeable area to put some recreational amenities,” she said. “There could be camping, there could be a number of things.”
According to a press release from Flamboro Downs, the land – which includes approximately five acres near the south side of the property, bordering Highway 5, and a further 45 acres on the north side – could be developed to support amenities such as an outdoor amphitheatre, running, walking or mountain biking trails, sports fields, outdoor recreation space or community gardens.
From her conversations with Flamboro Downs, Partridge learned the ownership is looking at identifying the gaps in the community that could be filled on the Flamboro Downs property. “Some missing entertainment or recreational gaps that families would be able to take advantage of,” she said. “They don’t want to compete, obviously, with Christie Lake, or other areas. They’re looking to do something that adds more amenities and is another reason to draw people up to the Flamborough community.”
In a press release, Bruce Barbour, Great Canadian’s executive director of racing operations, said the hope is to create a mutually agreeable outdoor amenity that will support healthy lifestyles and add value for Flamboro Downs’ neighbours, as well as the entire area.
Meanwhile, Ward 14 Councillor Robert Pasuta added that there are young families and seniors around Flamboro Downs who would benefit from an outdoor facility.
“It is important to keep our community healthy and having such a structure in place would be impressive,” he said in the press release. “We need to make sure people have options to lead healthy outdoor lifestyles – especially seniors.”
Partridge said she has suggested a small campground that could include cabins or yurts for rent. “If a family was staying there, they could go to Westfield Heritage Village, they could go to the African Lion Safari, they could go to Christie Lake,” she said. “There’s lots of things to do in our community.
“Use that as kind of a home base to go out to other places.”
In addition, Partridge suggested there could also be a skateboard park that rents helmets or features other sports amenities, and a splash pad.
Partridge said any amenities at the site could both service Flamborough residents, as well as be a tourist draw. She said she feels residents from Waterdown, Carlisle, Greensville and even Dundas and elsewhere in the City of Hamilton would use facilities at the location.
“It’s very reachable,” she said, noting it is a 15-20 minutes drive from several locations within Flamborough.
For more information on the future development visit www.flamborodowns.com.