How We Got Here
Talisman Resort ceased operations in 2011 and since then the buildings have sat vacant.
The former resort is sandwiched between two other parcels of land which were sold in 2021 by the Municipality of Grey Highlands, amid widespread community opposition.
Currently, the three parcels of land have two owners with competing visions. There is no master plan for the entire site, and until this happens, uncoordinated and developer-led plans are dictating the vision for the entire area and threatening the beauty of the Beaver Valley and the entire Escarpment.
History of Talisman
April - Municipality of Grey Highlands (MGH) starts the process to update zoning by-laws for the entire municipality, which may impact the sites' future. This is prioritized over the pending Official Plan update.
February - At the request of the developer, BVDG, the sale closing date is moved up to June and is unanimously approved by Council. Final sale price is $2,500,000 for 133 acres.
$1,000,000 for the 75 acres of the lower lands, encompassing the defunct golf course
$1,500,000 for 59 acres of the upper agricultural lands
September to November - BVDG retains the Planning Partnership to lead a series of voluntary consultation meetings.
December - Initial plans for more than 500 units are revealed. At an online session, attended by more than 100 people the response is overwhelmingly negative. The voluntary community consultation process is halted by the developer.
March - MGH and 2420124 Ontario Limited co-sign a joint venture agreement to sell the collective lands in order to “maximize the development potential” through an "integrated development strategy" and to "maximize profits".
May - The Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy offers to purchase the public portion of the lands for $2,775,000, $275,000 higher than the final sale price.
July - MGH conditionally sells the public land to Westway Capital Inc. (renamed Beaver Valley Development Group, BVDG), ignoring opposition from citizens and taxpayers who raised serious concerns about the sale process. The hill and former Resort are not sold, and ownership is retained by 2420124 Ontario Limited.
September - Beaver Valley Visioning Report adopted by Council including the vision "The Beaver Valley Corridor, a significant ecological system in the heart of Grey Highlands, will be a model of best practices in sustainable, ecological, and environmental pursuits in support of the long-term social, cultural, and economic vitality of the community for generations". This report was an outcome of a series of public sessions, facilitated by the Planning Partnership for MGH Council.
Unfortunately, the target date came and went. The golf course did re-open with a new clubhouse but it shut down again in 2018, and has remained closed.
A Toronto development team, incorporated as 2420124 Ontario Limited purchased the former resort lands from MGH, including the golf course, resort buildings, and ski hill, with a proposal for revitalizing and re-opening the resort on Canada Day 2015 as an upscale resort and spa named Talisman Mountain Springs Inn.
The Municipality of Grey Highlands (MGH) acquired the entire Talisman property, as a result of tax arrears, then sold off portions.
Unfortunately, Talisman started struggling financially with competition from nearby Beaver Valley Ski Club and Blue Mountain. After a 48-year run, the property was placed into receivership under the control of an accounting and consulting firm BDO Canada Ltd.
Inspired by the ski lodges in Bavaria, the Mountainside Lodge opened in 1968, making it the largest ski resort in Ontario.
Continuing to grow as an all-season destination, both a golf course and tennis courts were added in 1965.
Talisman Mountain Resort opened Christmas Eve and quickly became a popular ski and snowboard destination.