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Caledon, Ont., preparing to host next year’s RBC Canadian Open at TPC Toronto

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Caledon, Ont., is preparing to welcome the world — through the RBC Canadian Open — to its rolling green hills.

TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley was announced as the host for the 2025 edition of the Canadian Open, the men’s national golf championship and the only PGA Tour event north of the border, two weeks ago.

Mayor Annette Grove said the success of this year’s event at Hamilton Golf and Country Club shows what it can do for a municipality’s international profile.

“It’s an opportunity to really put Caledon on the map globally,” said Grove on Tuesday. “I understand that over one million households across the United States, people from 140 different countries, viewed the tournament over the weekend in Hamilton, so this is an exciting opportunity for Caledon.”

The CPKC Women’s Open, Canada’s national women’s championship and the only LPGA Tour event in the country, travels across the country. It was at Vancouver’s Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club last year and will be at Calgary’s Earl Grey Golf Club at the end of July.

The men’s championship, however, stays in southern Ontario. St. George’s Golf and Country Club and Oakdale Golf and Country Club, both in Toronto, hosted in 2022 and 2023, respectively. Along with Hamilton and Toronto TPC, the four courses — and possibly a fifth to be announced at a later date — will comprise a rotation of locations in and around Toronto, Canada’s largest city.

Golf Canada’s chief operating officer Garrett Ball outlined the two tournaments’ economic impact at a news conference on Wednesday at the Canadian Open. He said the national sport organization had an $84-million economic impact on Canada as a whole, with $66 million of that in Ontario.

Although the final ticket sales data wasn’t yet released on Tuesday, Golf Canada estimated last week that 137,000 fans attended the Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf and Country Club between Wednesday and Sunday. The organization also estimated that more than 60,000 of them came from more than 40 kilometres away.

Neil Lumsden, Ontario’s minister of tourism, culture and sport, announced at the same news conference that the province would contribute $1 million to Golf Canada to support the event.

“The impact won’t just be for three or four days, it will be significant and it will be long lasting,” said Lumsden. “This touches all bases on what we are trying to do across Ontario.

“So far, when we partner up (with Golf Canada), the expectations have been met and exceeded, and this will be no different at the RBC Canadian Open.”

Groves is excited to bring that kind of economic activity to Caledon, a regional municipality northwest of Toronto, that is stretched out over 700 square kilometres. That includes the unincorporated town of Bolton, the region’s largest community, as well as seven villages and 10 hamlets.

“I believe that this is a wonderful opportunity for our local businesses right across the town,” said Groves, who pointed to the villages of Alton and Cheltenham as well as the hamlet of Terra Cotta as communities that will benefit.

“Right across the town, businesses will certainly benefit from this economically.”

Hosting a Canadian Open is not without its challenges. Staff and fans arriving account for thousands of extra cars on roads and in parking lots in the area. The township also has a limited number of accommodations for visitors.

“One of the things that we we’re working on, certainly, is shuttling people. We’ve got other areas in Caledon and Caledon is a very big place,” said Groves. “We are working with our communities right across Caledon and with our partners to make sure that we can shuttle people safely to the Osprey Valley golf course.”

Groves also said that her town would be working with the neighbouring municipalities of Brampton, Ont., and Orangeville, Ont., for infrastructure support like hotels and shuttle points.

She also pointed to Caledon’s previous success hosting the equestrian competitions at the 2015 Pan American Games, which were held at the Caledon Equestrian Park in Palgrave, Ont.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2024.

John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press

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