Sudbury neighbourhood group evicted — and it says it had no warning, no explanation

Since the Louis Street Association was created eight years ago it's provided programs for youth, helped newcomers, reduced crime, and built the neighbourhood into a community.

City councillor now seeking solution from building owners Greater Sudbury Housing Corporation

Roughly 30 children take part in the programs run by the Louis Street Association. Some are seen here in this 2016 picture playing basketball with officers from the Greater Sudbury Police Service (Louis Street Community Association Facebook)

Since the Louis Street Association was created eight years ago it's provided programs for youth, helped newcomers, and reduced crime and built the neighbourhood into a community.

The complexes on Louis Street are owned by the Greater Sudbury Housing Corporation. The rent is geared toward income.

The group was operating out of meeting space in one of the buildings, but a week ago, it was locked out.

Doris Reed, a volunteer with the group, says the eviction happened without warning and without an explanation. She adds they were also told if they tried to use the space it would be considered trespassing.

"All the stuff was put outside and [the group was] locked out," she said. 

"All these kids that you see waiting out there for the bus, these are all the kids, and their parents who are involved in this. Everyday they're asking when are you going to open the program again, well we got no place."

Reed says they need to find new space so they can continue offering their programs.

"If they closed it down altogether, we can see just in a week what's happening. The kids are unhappy. The parents are unhappy because their kids are unhappy and they know that they can't go to the Louis Street Association for help anymore."
The complexes on Louis Street are owned by the Greater Sudbury Housing Corporation. (Angela Gemmill/CBC)

Since the group was created in 2010, Reed says the volunteers have been trying to make the neighbourhood feel welcoming and create a community for those who live there.

"That is what the Louis Street Association is doing, making these people feel like they're not living in the ghetto. They're living in a community," she said.

Kids impacted the most

Ward 12 councillor Joscelyne Landry-Altmann presented a motion at city council last week. It directs city staff to speak to the Greater Sudbury Housing Corporation to come up with options for space for the group.

"We want to focus on the future, and making this program even better, and better for everybody really," she said.

No one from Greater Sudbury Housing Corporation was available for comment on this story.

Landry-Altmann didn't get into the reasons behind the dispute, however she says it's the neighborhood children who will suffer the most, if the group doesn't find a home.

"The kids are the ones who are impacted here."

Landry-Altmann says neighbourhood group on the street is too important to shut down.

"Louis Street has changed quite a bit," she said, in reference to the work of the association. She describes the neighbourhood as clean, inviting and vibrant, with fewer incidents of crime.

"That's due to Louis Street Association. There's no question about that. So that needs to continue."

About the Author

Angela Gemmill

Journalist

Angela Gemmill is a CBC journalist who has covered news in Sudbury, Ont., for 13 years. Connect with her on Twitter @AngelaGemmill. Send story ideas to angela.gemmill@cbc.ca