You can't fight city hall. Or can you? Residents of a beleaguered mobile home park are about to find out. The City of Calgary has served them with an eviction notice, but some refuse to leave.
Midfield Mobile Home Park is in a prime Calgary location, a 17-acre inner-city site located at the one of the busiest sections of the city — where the TransCanada Highway meets the city’s main freeway.
For more than four decades, residents saw the city grow up around them, yet the community remained mostly unchanged. Neighbours helped neighbours, gardens were planted, children were raised. Midfield was a small town within a big city.
In 2014, residents received an eviction notice: the park was to be be closed on September 30th, 2017. The date was set for the final battle in a war that had been raging for 20 years.
The City of Calgary cites crumbling infrastructure for the closure. Sewer pipes were placed under the homes in 1968; time and a lack of maintenance have taken their toll. The City has stated it would be too costly to conduct the repairs. Residents of Midfield aren’t buying it.
With homes in the surrounding communities selling for millions of dollars and an aggressive redevelopment plan for the area already approved by City Council, the residents of Midfield Mobile Home Park believe they are sitting on land so valuable, it must come at the cost of their home and their community.
Rudy Prediger, an 83 year-old former long-haul trucker, is not a man who is afraid of a fight. More than half of Midfield’s residents are like Rudy: elderly, poor, with no other place to go. The $10,000 dollar “transitional allowance” the city is offering doesn’t come close to even a down payment in Calgary’s frantic real estate market, and most of the mobile homes are too old to move. A previous plan to build a park on the eastern boundary of the city has disappeared, and no other mobile home parks are taking new units.
Rudy digs in for a fight, using local media and community support to launch a last-ditch effort to save a home he has lived in for 47 years. As the eviction date nears, Rudy risks everything to protect what he holds most dear.