Welcome to the Coalition to Save Lemay Forest

Latest News

Update on Subdivision (Consolidation) and Rezoning Application for 823 Lemay Avenue and the Lemay Forest land

Prior to the Riel CC public meeting, the application is reviewed by Dan Iskierski, City planner.  His analysis and recommendations will be submitted for public review early next week. We will provide further information on how you can help once we have reviewed these recommendations. In the meantime, here are ways you can support us:

Come see us on June 22nd!

Additionally, we will have a booth at the free community fest celebrating Winnipeg’s 150th birthday on Saturday, June 22. We plan to be set up from 11 am to 4 pm. Please come and say hi, ask questions and sign our physical petition to register your support.

Event Details:

Thank you for your continued dedication to saving Lemay Forest.

An open letter to the owner of the 22.5 acre Lemay Forest and 823 Lemay Ave:

18 May 2024

Dear Mr. Mazyar Yahyapour,

As the registered owner of the 22.5-acre property known as Lemay Forest, as well as the home located at 823 Lemay, you are our neighbour and a member of the St. Norbert community, even if in absentia. St. Norbert residents and community have a long and storied history, one that is characterized by tolerance, diversity, and collaboration. Over the course of a year, thousands come from a distance to visit St. Norbert and enjoy the many natural and cultural features of this neighbourhood. Those of us who live here – some for generations – value these treasures as much as we value our neighbours, and we work hard to overcome adversity and differences by respectful dialogue and understanding.

We believe it is reasonable to ask our neighbours and their agents to make an effort to align their actions with that approach. To that end, we would like to take this opportunity to help you understand what you have bought into by acquiring property in our midst. At the same time we understand that the property has not turned out to be the investment you had hoped for. This could lead to feelings of disappointment, a sense of betrayal, even anger over this outcome. We commiserate in this presumed response, and would be delighted to make a more personal acquaintance to ease that impact.

Based on your authorized communication in October 2023 expressing your openness to another entity acquiring the land known as Lemay Forest, St. Norbert residents and allies have lobbied diligently with municipal, provincial and federal governments to purchase the property in question. As a result, as of March 2024 sufficient funds have been secured and you are in receipt of an offer to purchase the land known as Lemay Forest. This offer is based on a credible, 2024 appraisal of the land’s valuation. We are disappointed that you have not accepted this offer to purchase. You still have the opportunity, albeit not indefinitely, to act on this credible option to part with the property. Doing so would allow you to move on to new and hopefully more viable investments. To reiterate: there is a willing buyer with the funds and the authority to acquire the land at fair market value. This willing buyer has secured funding from all three levels of government. These are public funds, and our leaders release them in trust that they will go toward the betterment of all society, such as full public access to Lemay Forest and the preservation of its historic and cultural components. The offer that was extended to you in March 2024 is our money, deemed worthy of this purchase. It is our hope that you will respectfully consider that offer for future generations, biodiversity, climate resiliency, healing for people and planet and reconciliation.

We would be happy to meet with you at any time and welcome you as a member of the St. Norbert community.

The Coalition to Save Lemay Forest

What is Lemay Forest?

Lemay Forest is one of the last intact riverbottom forests in the City of Winnipeg. It is a large A-B classification forest and greenfield situated on the banks of the Red River in the historic neighbourhood of St. Norbert.It is surrounded by additional contiguous riparian forest, and the St. Norbert dike system.

This land is also situated on river lots 84 and 85 – two of the last intact river lots in the city, existing largely in the state they did when they were surveyed when the province of Manitoba was created.

The Lemay Forest is a riparian (riverbottom) forest, home to many mature tree species including maple, green ash, elm, cottonwood, and basswood.

It is a nesting place for migratory birds, song birds, birds of prey, and the keystone species pileated woodpecker. It is also a wildlife corridor providing habitat and safe access for many wildlife species, reptiles and amphibians.

Watch our welcome to Lemay Forest video for a summary of what Lemay Forest is and why it’s important to the City of Winnipeg and its residents:

We've Launched a Fundraising Campaign!

We want to show our elected officials that the community is committed to the acquisition process, in both tangible and intangible ways. A grassroots fundraising campaign will send a clear message that we are committed to supporting the City of Winnipeg with their purchase of the 22-acre Lemay Forest and greenfield.

As of: May 30th, 2024:

We’ve officially surpassed our original fundraising goal of $5000! Thank you everyone!  

To date we’ve raised $6945 and we’d love to see it keep growing!

Sign Our Petition Here!

Read our 2023 Year in Review Newsletter

We acknowledge that the Lemay Forest and greenfield land where we seek refuge, photograph its creatures and benefit from is situated on Treaty 1 Territory, the lands stolen from the Anishinaabeg, Anishininewuk, Dakota Oyate and Denesuline Nations, and the homeland of the Red River Métis. We acknowledge the harms of the past, and we dedicate ourselves to move forward in partnership with Indigenous peoples in reconciliation and collaboration.