Lily Fielding of Sudbury has donated a tract of land in Little Current located adjacent to the Manitoulin Centennial Manor and Channel View Apartments to the Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands to support their efforts in the development of affordable seniors housing in the Municipality. The donation was announced at a press conference held at the Municipal Office in Little Current on Thursday, July 21, early in the afternoon and was attended by The Manitoulin Expositor staff.

The land will offer the Municipality the opportunity to find a private sector partner who can move forward with the construction of units targeted to the senior market. “This is a great opportunity”, said Mayor Al MacNevin, “Lily Fielding has provided us with the tool we need to attract private sector investment into our municipality. We are all aware of the need for seniors’ housing, and now with this donation, we can encourage the creation of new housing units.”

In committing to the donation, Lily Fielding was quick to point out her family’s faith and confidence in the Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and its Council. “I am aware of the Town’s need for seniors housing and welcome the opportunity to be a part of the solution to that problem. I am not putting any conditions on the donation. We are giving the property to the Town and trusting Council to make those decisions that are in the best interest of the Municipality”, Mrs. Fielding had told the mayor at a meeting at her home earlier in the week. Mrs. Fielding is a lifelong citizen of the Sudbury area. She is 99 years of age.

Lily Fielding also recently made a donation to the City of Sudbury for the creation of Kivi Park in honour of her parents Susanna and John Kivi and all of the Finish families who originally settled and farmed the Long Lake area. That donation directly supported active communities, sporting groups, tourism and healthy lifestyles. “We value the communities we and our families live, work and play in and we welcome the opportunity to contribute to their growth and development.” said Lily Fielding “Our family interests, including our ownership of La Cloche Island and Fisher Harbour, were built on a foundation of community and corporate responsibility, and this donation is one more step in the continuation of that tradition.”

Mayor MacNevin expressed his appreciation to Mrs. Fielding, her late husband Cliff Fielding and their family for their past support of the community which included generous donations to the local Hospital and the local long term care facility. “The donation of the land is greatly appreciated and I would personally like to thank Lily Fielding and her family for their support. This is an exciting opportunity, and Council and I look forward to using it to expand the opportunities for seniors housing in our Community”, he said.

The Island gift comprises of approximately 3 acres and overlooks Low Island Park. Mayor MacNevin noted the gift has a monetary value of close to $700,000.

Local physician and community activist Dr. Roy Jeffrey has proposed assisted living facilities for seniors and has suggested that, if a nearby location could be found, some aspects of the services could possibly be accessed through the Manitoulin Centennial Manor for a “win-win” solution.

Mayor MacNevin noted that this gift of land, close to the Manor and other senior housing in Little Current, can easily be the key to helping realize Dr. Jeffrey’s visionary proposal.

The announcement of the gift of land was attended by several members of the board of Manitoulin Centennial Manor, including board chair Paul Moffat.