Seniors Are Being Forced Out of The Valley Due To Lack of Apartment Construction Projects

Robert Kirwan
Valley East Today

Valley East may be one of the fastest growing communities within the Greater Sudbury Area, but this isn’t helping people like 76 year old Ena Boulay, who is shown looking over some of the historic pictures on the Centennial Quilt which is on display at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre.

Ena and her late husband, Al (who passed away in 1988), moved to McCrea Heights in 1954 and raised five children. Wanda and Lesley still live in the area, while Evelyn and Rick have moved to Ottawa and Wendy is in Bracebridge. Ena, who now lives in one of the Co-op Townhouses in Val Caron, wants to stay in Valley East , but she needs an apartment.

“I loved my house in McCrea Heights , but after my husband died, I just couldn’t keep it up,” explained Ena. “I sold it in the early 1990’s and moved to the town house in Val Caron, but even that is getting too hard to look after. All I want is a nice little apartment with no stairs so that I can remain in Valley East with my friends.”

The problem for Ena, and hundreds of other seniors who now own their homes in Valley East is that there is a serious lack of appropriate living accommodations for people their age. “It’s nice to see new houses being built all over the Valley. It shows that our town is growing and will continue to grow. But there are a lot of people like me, especially older women, who are going to be forced to move into Sudbury or to another bigger city in order to find a senior-friendly apartment complex where we can live in dignity and get away from the work that is involved in taking care of a house.”

Ena is very pleased with much of what has been happening in Valley East . “Our bus service is getting better. We have all of the services we need right here, with doctors, dentists, pharmacies, senior centers, etc. The shopping is excellent. All we need now is a place to live.”

Ena points out that for most, it is not a matter of money. “Most of us can afford to pay the rent for a good apartment. When Dalron announced that he was going to build a place like Lively’s Meadowbrook right here in Val Caron, I was one of the first to put my name in. The apartments were a bit expensive, but it was worth it to be able to live in a place which was geared to the needs of seniors.”


            One of the things that bothers Ena a great deal is that everyone seems to be spending a lot of time promoting new house development, but they are forgetting about the older people. “As the baby boomers get older, and as the parents of the baby boomers, like me, get older, we are going to need apartment complexes that are located near shopping malls and public transit. We are going to have to sell our houses. If there are no places for us to live, we will have to move away. Other big cities seem to be promoting apartment development, but we are not seeing anything in Valley East .”

            It may be necessary for Municipal Council to provide some financial incentives for private sector developers to begin building facilities such as that needed by people like Ena Boulay. Candidates for election to City Council will be hard-pressed by the seniors of Valley East and Capreol to indicate what can be done to make development take place in the Valley. Understandably, this is something that a private developer must find viable. However, it is a very real problem that must be addressed. The aging of our population is not simply a Valley East problem. It is something that is occurring across the entire region of Greater Sudbury. We have been worrying a lot about how to keep our youth from having to move away. Perhaps it is time we started to worry about keeping our seniors here as well.




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