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Public bankrolls private greens

Across the city, swanky private golf clubs, whose wealthy clientelehave paid as much as six figures to become members, are beingsubsidized by Toronto taxpayers.

Across the city, swanky private golf clubs, whose wealthy clientele have paid as much as six figures to become members, are being subsidized by Toronto taxpayers.

As of the end of last year, more than $30 million has been lost in potential property tax revenue thanks to a decades-old agreement between the city and nine Toronto clubs — none of which are open to the public.


Toronto city councillor Adrian Heaps is the latest politician to challenge the deal. At next month’s executive committee meeting, he will request that the city’s legal department conduct a full review of the controversial agreement.

“This is something that’s been buried in the archives for so many years. The last thing these courses want is for this to come to light,” said Heaps. In the late 1950s through 1960s, Ontario enjoyed an unprecedented development boom.

Green space was being bought up by developers at record pace. So the former cities of Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, Toronto and York struck a deal with local links.


As long as they remained golf courses, clubs could pay a reduced property tax rate. The exact deferred amount, which is confidential, ranges between 10 per cent and 30 per cent.

 
 
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