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Ground broken on 137-unit Minnow Lake assisted living facility

City of Greater Sudbury’s elected officials and stakeholders joined developers in celebrating an assisted living facility’s groundbreaking

A ceremonial groundbreaking celebrated the beginning of construction of an in-demand 137-unit assisted living facility in Sudbury Monday.

The $45-million development on Second Avenue N., across the street from the Minnow Lake Dog Park, is the Toronto-based Bawa Hospitality Group’s first project in Sudbury.

“I think Sudbury is in need, with an ageing population, and I think it’s going to be a good project,” owner Danny Bawa said after the ceremonial groundbreaking, which followed an actual groundbreaking that took place a month ago.

The city has been “very helpful in every part” of the project, he said, adding that they assisted in the building’s design, offered timely comments and deferred development charges for six years.

It’s well worth the support, Ward 11 Coun. Bill Leduc said following the ceremony. 

“We can’t do this as a municipality on our own,” he said. “We need these partners to come to Sudbury to make these investments. It’s quite a substantial investment, plus the amount of jobs this is going to create.”

The facility is expected to employ approximately 70 full-time people once it’s fully operational in the fall of 2022. 

“We do have an ageing population here in Sudbury and we need as much assisted living as we possibly can out here,” Leduc said, crediting Bawa Hospitality Group with helping fill an important gap for seniors.

This is a point City of Greater Sudbury Seniors Advisory Panel chair Barb Nott supports, citing waits as long as five or six years to get into assisted living or long-term care facilities.

Assisted living facilities offer residents the opportunity to continue living independently, with extra supports such as food services, laundry, hairdressing and other things provided as part of the rent they pay, which helps lessen the load and simplify matters. 

The longer residents are able to live independently, the better, Nott said, adding that as people get older things such as preparing meals, cutting grass and shovelling their driveways become increasingly difficult and push them to pursue other accommodations.

Facilities such as the one celebrated today are an important part of the housing continuum, she said, adding, “It keeps their independence, it keeps them out of the long-term care homes.”

Bawa said that although this is his company’s first development in Sudbury, it’s unlikely their last. They have a few more properties in the city they’re looking to develop, and depending on how things roll out at the Second Avenue N property, there’s room for a second phase. 

It’s safe to say the city would support the company’s future endeavours in the city, Leduc said, adding, “We’re open for business.” 

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for Sudbury.com.