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Creditors to receive proceeds from Laurentian president’s home sale

President’s home sold for $925K, but sale of other university properties to province as part of plan of arrangement has yet to be completed
The proceeds from the March sale of the Laurentian University president’s house will go into the distribution pool to pay creditors stemming from LU’s 2021-2022 insolvency. The property sold for $925,179.

The proceeds from the March sale of the Laurentian University president’s house will go into the distribution pool to pay creditors stemming from LU’s 2021-2022 insolvency.

This according to Lynn Wells, the university’s new president, who spoke about the sale of the historic six-bedroom 179 John St. home traditionally occupied by Laurentian University presidents during the June 18 meeting of Laurentian’s senate.

The listing price for the home was $899,000. 

Following the meeting, reached out to Laurentian for more information, and we were sent a May 2 internal memo on the topic.

The memo said the property received multiple offers in its short time on the market, and was sold for a total of $925,179.

(During the June 18 meeting, Wells said the property had sold for “around $700,000.” later clarified the figure with communications staff).

“The university is thankful to real estate agent Didi Martin of Unreserved Realty Inc., who supported the sale process,” said the memo. 

“The proceeds of the sale will form part of the Distribution Pool for the creditors, as defined under the CCAA Plan. The annual cost savings on property maintenance will be redirected towards necessary investments to facilities on-campus.”

Wells, who began her term as Laurentian’s president this spring, said she got to tour the president’s house during the open house for the property.

“My husband and I went to look at the house that we might have lived in, but never will,” she said. “To be honest, we're kind of happy we don't. It's kind of old and stuffy. It's a beautiful house, but it's just not our kind of thing.” 

Take a tour of the home below:

The memo said that since purchasing this house in 1965, the university’s various leaders have hosted thousands of guests and hundreds of important community gatherings at the president’s house. 

It welcomed world leaders, internationally renowned artists, and many celebrated alumni. 

Laurentian’s board of governors voted to sell the property in February 2023, but it was not listed until a year later.

The topic of the president’s home came up through a question posted by senate member Anthony Church.

“I know the president's house was sold,” he said. “I wonder what's happening with other sales of property that were supposed to be taking place?”

Church was referring to the sale of Laurentian University properties to the province of Ontario so that LU can pay out its creditors. 

It has been almost 20 months since Laurentian University exited insolvency under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), with the sale of university properties to the province forming a crucial part of its plan of arrangement.

A pool of cash of up to $53.5 million for Laurentian’s creditors is to come from the sale of university real estate to the province of Ontario, which will be rented, in some cases, back to LU.

The minimum floor for the pool of cash has been set at $45.5 million. 

If Laurentian doesn’t fund the creditors’ distribution pool to at least that amount by Nov. 28, 2025, the university will have defaulted.

While some information was provided by Laurentian in 2023 as to what properties the province is purchasing — confirming the campus greenspace won’t be included — that deal hasn’t been completed.

It seems there’s not much new to report since last month, when university administrators said meetings with the province are now happening every two weeks to try to finalize the deal.

“The work on the sale of the seven properties designated by the ministry as a means of resolving our outstanding debt for creditors, that work is proceeding,” said Wells.

“There are biweekly meetings now between Laurentian representatives and Infrastructure Ontario. The minister, who was here recently, did inquire about this. The ministry has been helpful in trying to move things along. 

“There are a few elements of the negotiation that are challenging, right? This is a complex thing, selling seven properties. So we're trying to move things along as quickly as possible. The board is keeping a very close eye, as are we as an executive team. So like all I can say it's an extremely high priority. We work on it all the time.”

Church asked if Laurentian actually has enough money now to just pay off its creditors without waiting for the province to purchase university properties. “Can we just end negotiations?” he asked.

“It is a requirement that we sell the seven properties,” Wells replied. “This is part of our CCAA plan of arrangement that we will resolve our outstanding debts in this way.”

She added that Laurentian does not have sufficient surplus to “resolve our outstanding debts to our creditors and to cover the costs that we need to cover for the institution. So it is an extremely important piece of work to get these properties sold.”

Heidi Ulrichsen is’s assistant editor. She also covers education and the arts scene.