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Olympic athletes’ suites transformed

Olympic Vista apartments on Carey Road is expected to be ready for clients this spring.  - Sharon Tiffin/News staff
Olympic Vista apartments on Carey Road is expected to be ready for clients this spring.
— image credit: Sharon Tiffin/News staff

Thirty-six homeless people  will soon have a place to call their own. The Olympic Vista apartments, which will provide transitional housing for people 55 and over, are nearing completion
The Carey Road housing project began in May when one-bedroom, modular suites were shipped from the former Olympic athletes’ village in Whistler.
The Saanich location is one of the first steps in creating the Mount View Campus of Care site. The project, a collaboration between the district of Saanich, the Capital Regional Hospital District and the Victoria Cool Aid Society is three to four months behind its original nine-month time line. 
The project has been visually interesting for observers as finished suites were stacked up and then an exterior shell was added to create a finished look.
“It’s been kind of neat how it’s been put together. It reminds me of LEGO,” Mayor Frank Leonard said, admitting he couldn’t fully conceptualize how the modular units would fit together when the project was first pitched to him.
“It sounded a little odd, but it came together very nicely,” he said. “I think people are going to be very pleased with it.”
Planners are now aiming to have residents moved into the building by May.
“Right now everybody’s working very hard to try to bring this project in by April 1,” said John Crean, manager of housing for the Cool Aid Society. “This is not a normal project that contractors are familiar with, so they had a lot of challenges at the beginning to work through. They’re just doing the best they can.”
Olympic Vista is on a $1.15-million parcel of land donated by the Capital Regional Hospital District, and was constructed as part of the $8.4-million Olympic legacy fund from the province.
The Mount View site, one of six locations to receive the Olympic housing, will also include a 244-bed residential care home, 165 independent living suites for seniors and 14 affordable townhouses for families.
The building is the second supportive housing project in Saanich. The first, located on Douglas Street, is run by Pacifica Housing Advisory Association.
“I’m really pleased how it came together,” Leonard said. “It serves a social good, but it’s quite a unique construction concept.”
– with files from Kyle Slavin
nnorth@saanichnews.com

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