Saskatchewan. Mobile home residents forced out of Leisureland after lease expires
It’s the first summer in 18 years that Karen Fisher hasn’t planted flowers in the garden surrounding her home in Leisureland, a mobile home community southwest of Saskatoon.
She and residents of the nine other trailers in the area will need to find a new home as their 25-year lease with Meewasin Valley Authority expires by the end of the year.
“We started thinking about all the memories here and it just broke my heart,” Karen said.
A sign outside the park entrance reads “Trailers must be removed at owner’s expense”. Karen says some people have already sold, dismantled their trailer, or are still waiting for someone to buy.
While she’s already bought a house, her last summer at Leisureland, a former amusement park, is bittersweet. Her son Sheldon loves her so much that he bought and moved into the trailer next to hers four and a half years ago.
Signs posted near Leisureland. (Miriam Valdes-Carletti/CTV Saskatoon)
Sheldon says he knew the lease was expiring this year but he’s still emotional.
“It wasn’t a shock, it was more disappointing and we couldn’t come to an agreement to extend it or some sort,” Sheldon told CTV News.
Sheldon says the Meewasin Valley Authority has no interest in extending their lease and claims they have no plans for the land after they leave.
The authority did not respond to a request for comment.
Sheldon says the residents even offered to raise their rent, but were turned down.
“It’s kind of emotional, I was hoping to be here for a long time, because you don’t find an oasis like this around Saskatoon,” he said.
Sheldon says he will be fine finding a new home but worries about others like his neighbor Anne who has lived in Leisureland for over 25 years. He says she and others will struggle to find an affordable home on a fixed income.
Karen says she is moving forward and the next chapter will be a fresh start, but she will miss the memories and friends she has made over the past 18 years.
“Life here. It’s so different from the city. You cannot imagine the tranquility we have here. We don’t have anyone running around, there are no ambulances or fire engines, it’s just peaceful.