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TBM may open formerly private tennis club to the public

Town planning to build two new outdoor tennis courts at a location to be determined
The tennis courts on Peel Street.

A private tennis club located on town-owned land may be opened to the public in the near future, if possible.

At its committee of the whole meeting on June 29, The Blue Mountains council made the decision that the Cameron Shores Tennis Club will no longer have exclusive access to two tennis courts located on a small piece of town land on Peel Street North. One final vote of council will be required to ratify the decision.

In an agreement that dates back to 1975, the tennis club leased the land from the town and built and operated two tennis courts on the property. The courts were used only by members of the club.

“At that time, that probably made sense for the community,” Director of Community Services Ryan Gibbons told council. “There hasn’t been any tax dollars invested in this facility.”

Earlier this year, the club approached council about a long-term extension of its lease of the property. The tennis courts require significant upgrade work and the club was seeking to extend the deal in order to proceed with the work.

Council, however, decided the time to end the lease deal is now. Council passed a resolution directing staff to continue investigating potential locations for two new town-owned tennis courts to be built. The town has money in its budget for the courts and the town is considering several potential locations for them including: Peel St. property (existing location of Cameron Shores Tennis Club), Town of The Blue Mountains 10th line recreation property, 125 Peel St. (Campus of Care site), Bayview Park and the Beaver Valley Community Centre.

Once the new courts are built, the Cameron Shores Tennis Club will have the option of signing an agreement with the town for club usage of the courts.

In the resolution, council also asked staff to look into the possibility of the existing courts at the Peel Street location being opened to the public.

Staff did warn council that the town will have to assess the conditions of the courts before a decision on whether or not to open them is made.

“It may not be open. It may well be a facility we close,” CAO Shawn Everitt said.

In a letter to council, Cameron Shores Tennis Club executive member Arnis Pukitis expressed support for the recommendations in the report to council, but also reiterated the club’s desire to continue to use the facility at Peel Street until the new courts are built.

“We look forward to the opportunity to engage as one of the stakeholders in the entire process. We feel we offer a valuable insight and perspective as current tennis enthusiasts in Thornbury West,” Pukitis said in the letter. “The process of choosing a site from the five possible options plus the process of budgeting and building new courts will take some time. We request that TBM council allow the Cameron Shores Tennis Club to continue operating at the Peel Street site until the new courts are built and ready for play.”

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About the Author: Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Chris Fell covers The Blue Mountains and Grey Highlands under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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