Sudbury Chapter: Don’t tear up former hospital parking lot

Click here to read “Don’t tear up former hospital parking lot:CARP ” by Darren MacDonald –, June 24, 2015

Click here to watch video made by CARP Sudbury Chapter in which chair Hugh Kruzel discusses the benefits of preserving the parking lot and the costs associated with regreening the space.

A local seniors advocacy group is calling on city council to keep the parking lot at the former St. Joseph’s hospital at Bell Park, rather than spend $950,000 regreening it.

The Sudbury Chapter of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) is asking that the parking lot be preserved because it’s a safer option than the two York Street lots on the other side of Paris Street.

“As a parking space for Bell Park visitors, it would be safer to use than the York Street lots, especially for older adults and children, as it is not necessary to cross Paris Street and as well there is a signalled intersection to access the lot,” a release from CARP said.

There is a shortage of parking in the area, the group argues, and the York Street lots are often used by events for trailers and other equipment, the group says.

“The extra 300 plus spaces would be a benefit not only for residents of Sudbury attending events, but for those visitors from out of town,” the group said.

“The former St. Joseph’s parking lot is a well-constructed paved lot with a likely replacement value of approximately $2 million at the current cost of around $5,000 plus to create a paved parking spot. This is a valued asset in relatively good condition with a lengthy projected life span.”

With the city already looking for funds to help pay the $6 million cost of this year’s property tax freeze, the group argues it makes little sense to spend close to $1 million getting rid of a parking lot in an area that needs parking.

“The re-greening plans call for the property to be restored to its former state, which actually was a rock outcropping with very little vegetation,” the group says. “The re-greening plan calls for most of the site to be a park-like setting with very limited parking to access the site which rather suggests that there will be little usage of the area as it will be inconvenient to visit.”

Since the lot would mainly be used in warm weather months, there’s little chance a significant amount salt and other contaminants would enter nearby Ramsey Lake.

“It is doubtful the lot would receive much winter use and could be actually closed in the winter (since) the major danger is contaminates, particularly salt from vehicles in the winter.”

Regreening the lot is one of the capital projects the city is considering applying for federal funding under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program.

The other projects are expanding existing parks to include splash pads; a ski lift replacement for Adanac Ski Hill; and, courtyard improvements at Tom Davies Square.

Councillors are expected to choose which project to apply for at their meeting tonight beginning at 6 p.m.