Villa Maria


A Brief History:

The years following the second world were a very active time in St. Mary’s parish. Many new Ukrainian families were arriving in Sudbury, increasing the size of the parish and the pace of activity.  Father Basil Dzurman who was pastor of St. Mary’s decided the time was right to focus more attention on the many youth and the children of the parish and to that end convinced the parish to buy a farm on a Richard lake for use as a summer camp. Within a short time a series of buildings sprung up, which provided accommodation for the children during the summer holiday vacation camps.  According to Fr. Pryjma, who wrote the above history, the “Villa Maria” became the pride not only of Sudbury but of all Canada at the time.  Festivals were also held there, and they provided the finest diversion for the faithful of all ages during the hot summer months. View historic photos of Villa Maria.

Present:

In recent years, the Villa has seen limited use and had gradually fallen into a state of disrepair. Beginning in the summer of 2013 Father Peter and a few volunteers managed to make some much needed improvements. This includes re-roofing and siding of all major buildings, the conversion of a shed into boat storage, major clean-up of clutter in some of the buildings as well as brushing out and general clean-up of the grounds. Some new apple trees were also planted. Conrad Houle, the former owner of Tracks and Wheels in Sudbury has been very generous in donating a large floating dock, a boat and the use of some heavy machinery for work on the grounds. 

Buildings presently at the Villa include a small chapel, a main camp (kitchen/dining room), a tool shed, boat shed and washrooms. Photo albums of the Villa campground and events held at the Villa in more recent years are listed below:

Villa Campground 2013

Villa Campground 2011 

Villa Picnic Aug 2008

Villa Picnic Aug 2007

Villa Picnic Jul 2007

Villa Campground Aug 2006

Villa Campground June 2006

Villa Picnic Aug 2006


Location:

Villa Maria is located on the south shore of Richard Lake on roughly 16 acres of land and has approximately 530 feet of shoreline. Richard Lake Road connects Highway 69 south to the to the Villa driveway. The property is bounded to the west by the Mine Mill camp and to the east by the Ukrainian National Federation camp site.

Registration:

The Villa property when purchased in 1948 was registered to The Ruthenian Greek Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Canada in Winnipeg but in 2009, title to the property was transferred to The Ukrainian Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Canada in Toronto. A much larger parcel of land also registered to the Ukrainian Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Eastern Canada lies to the south of the Villa property. This property extends south and across Hwy 69 south. 

Villa Maria Panorama - Nov 2013 (click any image to enlarge!)