Keep Laurentian University greenspace for community, citizens group says

The citizens group Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury wants to make sure the trails and greenspace on the Laurentian University campus remain available for the community. As part of its restructuring process, the school in Sudbury is undergoing a real estate review to monetize assets.

Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury calling residents to action in case school decides to sell asset

Laurentian University owns some of the last undeveloped waterfront on Sudbury's Lake Nepahwin. (Erik White/CBC)

A citizens group wants to make sure the trails and greenspace on the Laurentian University campus remain available for the community.

As part of its restructuring process with the Companies' Creditor Arrangement Act (CCAA), the school in Sudbury will undergo a real estate review, to monetize its assets.

The school owns more than 200 hectares of greenspace around its campus, including a network of popular trails. 

"Those are well loved by the public," says Naomi Grant, co-chair of Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury.

The grassroots citizen group has put forward a call to action to the community.

Naomi Grant is co-chair of the Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury. (Angela Gemmill/CBC)

"Our concern is that [the greenspace] could be considered for sale to private ownership and be lost to the community," she said.

"We know that the CCAA process does not consider what the community wants or needs. It doesn't consider the land or the water," Grant said.

"All of that is up to us."

"We want to give an opportunity for people who care about this deeply, because we know our community does care deeply, to gather together, and if action is needed we will be connected and we will be able to speak up, and we will be able to work towards a solution," she said.

Community coming together to find solutions

Grant admits the coalition is not sure yet what the solution is, but the Laurentian greenspace is important to the community, and needs to stay available for everyone to use.

"It's important to us as a community because it is at the heart of our community. It's at the heart of our community for accessing nature, for hiking."

The Laurentian University trail is featured with the Rainbow Routes Association's collection of trails across the city of Greater Sudbury. (Rainbow Routes Association)

It's unclear when the real estate review will take place, but Grant wants to start mobilizing now to find potential options.

"If we all get connected and can work together, then we don't have to be caught off guard at the last minute when that does become public," she said. 

The coalition wants residents to contact city councillors in Greater Sudbury to make sure the LU trails and greenspace are not lost to residents.

"If we come together as a community — community members, community leaders, council, all of us together — we can find a solution, and we will want to find a solution," Grant said.

"This is not something we're willing to lose."

With files from Angela Gemmill


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