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Horse fans should jump for Palgrave estate development

Large lots flank equestrian park – Homes to fit in with countryside

Tracy Hanes

Toronto Star PALGRAVE – As a former Ottawa Roughrider, Alex Troop knew plenty about football but nothing about the horse world. But now the president of Alliance Homes is getting a crash course in equestrian sport as his company prepares to launch Caledon Park Estates, an upscale estate development, on the grounds of one of the province’s premier show jumping facilities, the Caledon Equestrian Park.It’s in Palgrave, a quaint village 20 kilometres north of Bolton that’s one of the communities that make up the Town of Caledon.

The owners of the equestrian park, the Equestrian Management Group, approached Troop about building a development on the unused north section of the property.

“This is one of the last approved subdivisions on the Oak Ridges Moraine and it’s been very challenging to meet the policies,” Troop says.

“The land is very wide open and has no real environmental issues, but we had to jump through some unusual hoops. But the end result will be spectacular.”

Among those “hoops” were requirements such as providing an inventory of the resident bird species. Alliance has submitted a draft plan of subdivision to the town of Caledon and anticipates obtaining approval this fall. It will build homes on 33 lots about one hectare each in size. The company designed the project on a lot-by-lot basis, creating a specific “envelope” on each, showing exactly where the house and garage will sit.

“This creates a situation where the houses will conform to the natural contours of the lot, instead of making the lot suit the house,” Troop says.

The designs, by architect John Beresford, will be available in bungalow styles from 2,000 to 2,800 square feet or in two storeys ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 square feet.

The exteriors will combine brick, stone and pre-painted wood siding to create a natural, Canadian-style look.

“There are a number of subdivisions in the area which have big stone or all-brick houses, but most of those are developments where one builder has a few lots, another has a few and some have been custom-built by the homeowner,” Troop says.

“With this project, we are both builder and developer, so there will be architectural consistency throughout the community.”

Options for the three- and four-bedroom houses include features like sunrooms, sunken family rooms and granny flats.

While Caledon Park Estates isn’t a themed community, Troop expects strong interest from horse lovers.

The show ground hosts some of the premier show jumping events in the province, where Canadian legends of the sport such as Ian Millar and Eric Lamaze regularly compete.

Troop’s company is getting into the spirit of the sport and recently sponsored one of the grand prix show jumping classes at a show at the park, won by Ainsley Vince, one of Canada’s leading riders.

The site is in the area of Rowley Dr. and Mt. Hope Rd., southeast of Highways 9 and 50. Nearby is the Albion Hills Conservation Area, that includes an outdoor education centre, cross-country ski trails, swimming, camping and canoeing. There are many riding stables and golf courses in the area, too.