Who We Are

We are the Coalition to Save Lemay Forest, a group of concerned citizens, local non government organizations and agencies working together to protect one of the city’s few intact riparian forests.

Coalition History

The Coalition to Save Lemay Forest was founded in 2020 by a handful of St. Norbert residents who got together on a neighbour’s lawn to come up with a plan to raise awareness to protect the 22-acre Lemay Forest and greenfield from a proposed high density mixed-use residential development. These neighbors engaged in a door-to-door awareness campaign to garner support from the East St.Norbert Community to oppose the development and save the Lemay Forest and greenfield. 

Since then, the Coalition has grown to hundreds of members including local and national advocacy groups. 

In October 2023, the Planning and Design firm representing the landowner sent threatening and aggressive letters to the residents of Lemay Avenue. A Winnipeg advocacy agency organization received a letter from the planner indicating that the landowner will continue with the development plans in 2024 unless there is an expressed interest in acquiring the Lemay Forest land by end of December 2023. 

The wheels were set in motion and a core group of residents and local advocacy groups met and concluded that the solution to saving the Lemay Forest and greenfield was to acquire the land in partnership with government and the community at large. A draft strategy to acquire the Lemay Forest and greenfield was created with help from a local advocacy group and is the building blocks for next steps. 

An online petition was launched and over 2000 signatures were collected in a matter of 2 short weeks!

Our Mission Statement

The Coalition to Save Lemay Forest will lobby government and the community at large to acquire the 22-acre Lemay Forest to be rezoned as parkland to expand Winnipeg’s public greenspace, protect its urban canopy, improve climate resiliency and protect global biodiversity. We are committed to long term partnerships to preserve, protect, enhance and restore the Lemay Forest and greenfield as a park for visitors to enjoy nature and low impact recreation in a peaceful refuge.

Our Vision

Our vision is that the 22-acre Lemay Forest and greenfield would be maintained as a healthy, biodiverse park for vegetation and wildlife where visitors can find peace and tranquility.

What have We Been Doing So Far?

The Coalition members and volunteers at large have been very active. Our efforts to date include the following:

1. Engagement with government entities: Met with and engaged with civic, provincial, and federal levels of government to advocate for the purchase and rezoning of the private land known as Lemay Forest. 

2. Civic motion support: Supporting a civic-level motion to initiate exploration of the land’s purchase and actively contributing to this process. 

3. Awareness and outreach efforts: Raising awareness through social media, local news, and press coverage to garner community attention. 

4. Active participation at city hall meetings: Attending Winnipeg City Hall committee meetings, providing delegations, and submitting comments for the public record.

5. Collaboration and networking: Ongoing communication and collaboration with other advocacy groups for support and guidance regarding next steps. 

6. Community engagement events: Organized 5 guided walks on the 22-acre Lemay Forest and greenfield for local stakeholders, government, and non-government advocacy groups. 

7. Petition: Launched our virtual petition to oppose any development of the Lemay Forest. Sign it here.

Timeline of Events

  • October 17, 2023:       
    Residents receive the first letter from Tochal Developments Group Inc.

  • November 1, 2023:     
    Petition through change.org is launched.

  • November 3, 2023:     
    First in person meeting of the coalition in its current form takes place.

  • November 9, 2023:    
    Councillor Markus Chambers meets with Billie Cross (Seine River MLA) and Minister Tracey Schmidt to discuss Lemay Forest.

  • November 15, 2023: 
    The coalition’s first meeting with MP Terry Duguid and MLA Billie Cross.

  • November 16, 2023: 
    The motion to purchase Lemay Forest is heard by the Riel Community Committee and is passed with amendments.

  • November 22, 2023
    The motion to purchase Lemay Forest is heard by the Standing Policy Committee on Property and Development. The motion is held over to the next meeting.

  • November 30, 2023: 
    Tochal Developments Group Inc. has indicated this is the last day Lemay Forest will be accessible to residents.

  • December 13, 2023
    We launched a GoFundMe fundraiser with a goal of raising $5000.

  • December 20, 2023

    Completed the first step to becoming a grassroots non-profit and led the last guided walk on the 22-acre Lemay Forest and greenfield.

  • January 6, 2024
    Tochal Developments Group Inc. is hosting an drop-in, open house at the St. Norbert Community Centre from 11:00am to 3:00pm.

  • January 11, 2024
    The heldover motion to purchase Lemay Forest will be heard by the Standing Policy Committee on Property and Development. Read a summary of the outcome on our home page.

Where to find Lemay Forest

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.