As the Highland Gate redevelopment application is now complete, residents continue to express concern and frankly disappointment at the outcome. Many residents have asked, how we ended up where we are. And to that point, many are curious as to whether or what alternative was considered given that I had mentioned that I would have preferred to pursue an alternative action.
Now that the matter is closed we are permitted to speak to some of the aspects in the process, and in keeping with that I can say now that I raised the concern about the loss of heritage that redevelopment of this property would represent. I felt that this land should be designated as per the Heritage Act. My reasons were that this Golf course is over 80 yrs old and was designed by the Architect Stanley Thompson. Thompson, if you don’t know, is a world renowned Golf Course designer. Many of his courses have been designated (under the Heritage Act) and he has also been designated a person of historical significance in Canada. Further, Highland Gate Golf Course was host to over 6 Canadian championships where a few of the winners are inductees in the Canadian Golf hall of fame. This course not only has all these wonderful heritage attributes but it is also tremendously culturally significant to Aurora as it was a political gathering place, it hosted many debates and was truly a landmark of this Town. It is really unfortunate that we ended up where we are today, where such an important piece of our town’s History will be lost.
As a good friend always has told me “ You need to know where you came from to know where you are going” and now Aurora has lost a big piece of that history forever, and future generations will never know or experience it. Truly a sad day!!
This is what brought on my motion to create a cultural heritage landscape inventory so that this Town would not lose anymore historically significant landscapes.