Protester's stay at vacant Sunnyside lot short-lived

Tavis Ford, an Occupy Calgary activist who spent two months camping at Olympic Plaza, pitched his tent in a city-owned lot in Sunnyside last night.
Tavis Ford set up a tent in a lot near Sunnyside LRT station on Wednesday night. (Maureen Miller/CBC)

The latest occupation by city activists may be short-lived.

Tavis Ford, an Occupy Calgary activist who spent two months camping at Olympic Plaza, pitched his tent in a city-owned lot in Sunnyside Wednesday night.

He vowed to stay until something positive, such as a community garden or low-cost housing, is done with the land.

"There certainly seems like there's an opportunity for a garden to be here while we're waiting for other plans to develop," said Ford on Thursday afternoon.

"Why not let citizens garden it? And other people have different ideas for this. I don't assume to have all the answers, but let’s have people invited, let's have parties here, let's come up with ideas."

Shortly after, police officers showed up and gave Ford and another activist warnings for trespassing.

The lot in Sunnyside was once home to a public school board warehouse, which was demolished earlier this year.

Ford said he hopes to draw attention to a number of issues, including community gardens and low-cost housing.

A spokesperson for Ward 7 Ald. Druh Farrell told CBC News that the land is slated for an affordable housing project.