Sudbury man plans appeal of film studio lease on expropriated land

A retired Sudbury lawyer says the city’s decision to extend a local film studio’s lease is illegal, and says he will be appealing the decision to the Ontario Municipal Board.

'You can not take something from somebody, pretend it’s going to be one thing, and do something else on it.'

Paul Temelini plans on taking the city's decision to extend the Northern Ontario Film Studio's lease all the way to the OMB. (Casey Stranges CBC)

A retired Sudbury lawyer says the city's decision to extend a local film studio's lease is illegal, and says he will be appealing the decision to the Ontario Municipal Board.

Northern Ontario Film Studios, a local film production company, will be getting a three-year extension on its lease of the former Barrydowne arena. It has operated out of the facility since 2012.

At a public hearing last night, the city's planning committee approved the company's application.

But Paul Temelini said the 72-hectare property that the arena and nearby Adanac ski hill sits on was expropriated from his family in the 1960s for the purposes of establishing a floodplain.

"Not for building arenas, not for ski hills, not for film studios," Temelini said.

Temelini stressed he wasn't against the film studio doing business in the city.

"It's just that the conservation authority and the city of Sudbury are doing an illegal activity," he said. "You can not take something from somebody, pretend it's going to be one thing, and do something else on it."

"It's illegal."

The old Barrydowne Arena has been used as a film studio for the past six years. It sits on land that was expropriated from the Temelini family in the early 1960s to be used as a flood plain. (Erik White/CBC )

'Other avenues' to deal with concerns, city says

Jason Ferrigan, the city's director of planning, told the committee that Temelini's concerns are not specifically planning-related, and said the concerns can be addressed through "other avenues."

Temelini said he wasn't going to stop at the planning committee.

"I'll appeal to the OMB (Ontario Municipal Board), or I'll get more legal opinions and advice and have a hearing there," Temelini said. "If that doesn't work, we'll go to court and let a court decide."

Carl Jorgensen, the general manager of Conservation Sudbury told CBC News earlier this week that the majority of the property was "purchased for flood plain purposes and that still is the case."

As for Temelini's issue with the development of the land, Jorgensen said  "we just see it as someone with an opinion."

Temelini said he was still open to offers from the city or Conservation Sudbury, with the hopes that the land, if not used for its original purpose, is returned to his family.

"I'm submitting different proposals to the conservation authority see if we can work something out," he said. "To see if there's a way of doing a deal whereby we can keep everybody happy."

"I'm negotiable."


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?