Online petition getting signatures

Article by Valerie MacDonald/images supplied

Almost 1,200 people have already signed an on-line petition opposing a Highway 401 expansion that would go through the front nine of 18 holes of Shelter Valley Pines Golf Club.

Owner Jane Sawyer, who lost her husband to cancer only a few short months ago, says she has formally responded to the Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO) proposal after she received a notification letter in Aug. 3.

“It would have broken his heart” if Steve had been alive to see this, Sawyer said.

Her husband’s family purchased the associated business, Shelter Valley Park, in 1974 and the golf course opened in 2001, expanding to 18 holes in 2011, she explained. (Both are located on Shelter Valley Road, Grafton.)

The 401 route proposed is the “preferred route” but it will be reviewed in light of all of the information and comments received by the deadline, Oct. 2, she said.

“I’ve (already) sent a formal response,” Sawyer added.

Information about the Highway 401 Planning Study from Cobourg to Colborne and the Highway 401 Angle Road Interchange Study can be seen on the MTO website

“Please note:  If you previously submitted comments using the Contact Form that was provided on the CONTACT page, kindly re-submit your comments using the comment form provided under the DOCUMENTATION tab.  Alternatively, please submit your comments to the following email address: In light of the recent Contact Form malfunction, the comment period has been extended from Thursday, September 25, 2020, to Friday, October 2, 2020.  We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience,” the MTO web page states.

Sawyer says the impact on the nine front holes, that would have to be redesigned and reconstructed if the preferred route is pursued by MTO, can be seen at

Sawyer also said at this time 17 people work at the park and golf course with the majority of these at the golf course which, depending on the weather, opens in April and closes in November.

The petition states that the “The Ministry of Transportation has notified the Shelter Valley Pines Golf Club that we are on the preferred route of the 401 expansion. The proposed expansion will affect 3 greens and 3 tee-offs on our front nine for a total of 6 holes. These holes include #3, #4, #5, #6, #7 and #8. Your local 18 hole community golf course will be severely impacted and altered by this proposed expropriation. 

“We are asking for your support. 

“Please sign and share this petition ( to help us change the 401 expansion route.

“It’s not set in stone yet,” Sawyer said.


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