Etobicoke, Ontario January 25, 2018 — Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec Foundation (CBOQ Foundation) to sell the retirement community of Lynde Creek Village.
Located off Taunton Road and Valleywood Drive in the town of Whitby, Lynde Creek Village is a planned adult lifestyle retirement community situated on 21 acres of land donated to Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec (CBOQ) by Len Cullen. The initial gift of 16 acres was received in 1982; the remaining five acres was received in the 1990s. Leonard (Len) Cullen was a gardener, entrepreneur and the founder of Whitby’s biggest tourist attraction, Cullen Gardens and Miniature Village.
Len Cullen conceptualized the idea for a Baptist Leadership Education Centre (BLEC) in the early 1980s. He had purchased the Hood Farm, across from Cullen Gardens in Whitby, and offered 16 acres of the land to CBOQ to build a leadership school on the site. The BLEC officially opened on September 3, 1984 with 47 pupils enrolled.
After BLEC closed in 2002, the BLEC building was converted into a retirement residence (The Manor) which opened in 2004 with 37 retirement living units. The most recent phase of expansion, completed in March 2015, increased The Manor to 94 assisted living suites.
The second allotment of five acres of land donated by Mr. Cullen in the 1990s, was designated for seniors’ housing. Consequently, Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec (CBOQ) appointed a volunteer group to research the development of a retirement community on the site. The outcome was the construction, over a 10-year period, of lease-for-life bungalow homes on land that borders The Manor.
Today, Lynde Creek Village consists of the 94-suite senior retirement residence (The Manor); 113 lease-for-life, attached, town-house bungalows (Garden Homes) for persons aged 55 years old and over; and 2.02 acres of vacant land (located adjacent to The Manor) available for future seniors’ living development. All 21 acres of the Village land, as well as The Manor structure, are owned by the CBOQ Foundation.
Lynde Creek Village is a thriving, popular retirement community with all 94 suites of The Manor occupied. There is a growing number of individuals waiting to move to the Manor. The resale price of the townhouse bungalows is increasing substantially in value. To God be the glory!
The owner of Lynde Creek Village (Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec Foundation), with the support of its partners, the CBOQ Housing Corporation and CBOQ, has made the very difficult decision to divest the Baptist family of its interest in Lynde Creek Village. In recent years, it became evident that the significant responsibility of owning, operating, financing, and managing a seniors’ village and residence was beyond the capacity of the partners involved. Retirement home operations are now a specialized business and highly competitive. The CBOQ Foundation has concluded that it does not have the resources to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Village and achieve its envisioned potential of providing the full range of benefits to the residents of Lynde Creek Village.
To that end, the Lynde Creek Village property has been listed with a broker specializing in seniors’ residential properties. Their sales team is working with the CBOQ Foundation and the CBOQ Housing Corporation to find and qualify potential buyers. It is expected the sale will be completed either late first quarter or early second quarter in 2018.
By agreement between the CBOQ Foundation and the Cullen family when the lands were originally donated, operating proceeds from the property were to be applied to Next Generation and other CBOQ ministries through endowment funds held by the Foundation. The proceeds from any transaction to sell Lynde Creek Village will be contributed to these endowment funds and used to assist Next Generation and other CBOQ ministries.
Praise be to God for the students, teachers, residents, staff and volunteers that have been part of the Lynde Creek Village community and ministry over the last 36 years. The legacy of the original generous gift from Len Cullen is not the site but a principle: to embed, formally, what was already one of the highest priorities for the family of CBOQ churches—the importance of work and witness among young people. Our prayer is that the way ahead for Lynde Creek Village is a blessing for its residents and for CBOQ’s Next Generation Ministries.