Kids versus seniors: To build classrooms, Saint-Lambert may expropriate home for elderly

Serenity Gardens in Saint-Lambert is a small seniors’ residence with nine elderly inhabitants. It's next door to a school that's bursting with small children.

Right now, that contrast has turned ominous for the seniors, with the city looking at expropriating the land they live on in order to serve the kids.

But the seniors' families argue that they both groups have the right to their space.

They found out Sunday night that Saint-Lambert would vote Monday on whether to mark the property for possible expropriation. The city needs the land to add space to the school next door, which has portables set up in the schoolyard, said elected officials. 

“We are short of classrooms in Saint-Lambert,” said mayor Pierre Brodeur.

They’re getting lots of requests from young families, and the city has an “obligation” to find the land needed, he said.

But the seniors’ families, and those who work with them, say the effect of displacement would be heartbreaking. 

Serenity Gardens is the only English-speaking home in Saint-Lambert and it’s a tight-knit group. There are only four staff members.

"That's devastating for somebody in that age group to be moved, because they wouldn't recognize anybody and more than likely they would die off,” said Roxanne Leader, the director of Serenity Gardens.

“This is their end of life and they deserve to have it. I mean, they worked their whole lives for us.”

Watch the video above to see the full report on the potential land expropriation.

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