Editor's note: This film is no longer available online. 

You can't fight city hall. Or can you? Residents of a beleaguered mobile-home park are about to find out.

The City of Calgary has served them with an eviction notice, but some are refusing to leave.

Midfield Mobile Home Park is in a prime Calgary location, a 17-acre inner-city site located in one of the busiest sections of the city - where the TransCanada Highway meets the city's main freeway.

For more than four decades, residents have watched the city grow around them, while their community has remained largely unchanged.

Neighbours helped neighbours, gardens were planted and children were raised. Midfield was a small town within a big city.

Then, in 2014, residents received an eviction notice: the park was to be closed on September 30, 2017. The date was set for the final battle in a war that had been raging for 20 years.

The city of Calgary cites crumbling infrastructure for the closure. Sewer pipes were placed under the homes in 1968, but time and a lack of maintenance have taken their toll. The city has stated that it would be too costly to conduct the necessary repairs. But residents of Midfield aren't buying it.

With homes in the surrounding communities selling for millions of dollars and an aggressive redevelopment plan for the area already approved by City Council, the residents of Midfield Mobile Home Park believe they are sitting on land so valuable, it must come at the cost of their homes and their community.

Rudy Prediger, an 83-year-old former long-haul trucker, is not a man who is afraid of a fight. More than half of Midfield's residents are like Prediger: elderly, poor and with no other place to go. The $10,000 "transitional allowance" the city is offering them doesn't even come close to a down payment in Calgary's frantic real estate market, and most of the mobile homes are too old to move.

A previous plan to build a park on the eastern boundary of the city has disappeared, and no other mobile home parks are taking new units.

So, Prediger digs in for a fight, using local media and community support to launch a last-ditch effort to save a home he has lived in for 47 years.

As the eviction date nears, Prediger risks everything to protect what he holds most dear.


By Mathew Embry

We began shooting with the residents of Midfield Mobile Home Park in the Spring of 2012, when they believed they were being moved, along with their homes, to a new location.

Over the next six years, we followed their lives and the destruction of their community; a tight-knit neighbourhood that was literally torn apart by backhoes and broken promises.

Despite their circumstances, the resilience and tenacity of the Midfield residents and their de facto leader, Rudy Prediger, never wavered.

While poverty made them vulnerable, Rudy's savvy use of local media gave them a chance to fight, and win, against city hall.

The true value of 'home', and fighting for what one believes to be right, was made clear in the minds of both our heroes and our production crew.

Source: Al Jazeera