In an announcement this week, Ajax MPP Rod Phillips joined Justin Picov from Picov Downs, Ajax Mayor Steve Parish and Bob Broadstock, president of the Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario to confirm that the slot machines at Ajax Downs will remain open. The slot machines have provided valuable infrastructure funding to the Town of Ajax since their installation in 2006, and were in danger of removal by the Ontario Government with their recent approval of the Pickering casino development at Church and Bayly. During the last provincial election campaign, Phillips had committed to work hard on behalf of Ajax Downs to protect the slots, and this is a case of an election promise fulfilled.
The location on Highway 2 in Ajax has a long history of Quarter Horse Racing in Canada, having run races since 1969. The original Picov Downs track was changed to Ajax Downs in 2006 with the establishment of a new slots facility and construction of a full 6-furlong oval racetrack which was completed in 2009.
Ajax Downs has some of the finest live Quarter Horse Racing in Southern Ontario, with over 800 OLG Slots and Simulcast off-track betting with over 70 screens. Live Races are held at Ajax Downs from May to October. The new agreement allows for 500 slot machines to remain, with a review scheduled for 2026.