City of Victoria looks to remove former E and N ticket office

Bidders sought for removal, re-use of Via Rail passenger train station

The City of Victoria is asking parties interested in acquiring the former E & N Railway station to submit their proposals for its relocation and reuse.

It’s not going to be an easy job for the winning proponent, however.

“This building is built on slab – it cannot be picked up and moved,” Coun. Pam Madoff said. “It’s likely to have to be deconstructed and rebuilt.”

The train station, located on the east side of the Johnson Street bridge, served passengers for the last time in April 2011, when VIA Rail stopped its Victoria-to-Courtenay run due to deteriorating track conditions. While the train is expected to run again in 2013, its new terminus will likely be the Vic West side of the harbour.

City staffer Peter Sparanese, newly appointed as principal to the Johnson Street bridge project, explained to council that proposals will be evaluated based on their cost to the city, as well as the “highest and best use” proposed.

The criteria left councillors with questions and a desire for more input.

“My gut feeling is given sensitivities around rail, heritage elements and other considerations, there could be value in sounding out council’s views,” said Coun. Ben Isitt.

He argued that council, rather than staff, should make the final decision.

City manager Gail Stephens, however, said a more appropriate council role would be giving input into more specific evaluation criteria.

In ranking the proposals, Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe said local use of the train station should get more weight than other considerations.

Mayor Dean Fortin disagreed.

“If a guy on Salt Spring Island will do it for free, I’m more interested in that than I am interested in paying somebody a lot of money to keep it for (relocation within) Victoria.”

Once the request for proposals is officially made, it will be posted at www.victoria.ca.

rholmen@vicnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney blocks off parking spaces to create more sidewalk

Additional measures to create more outdoor space for restaurants and cafe on way

Telus headquarters to come to Victoria in ‘landmark building’ development

City sells land on coroner of Douglas and Humboldt streets for $8.1 million

Victoria man identified as victim in Thunder Bay murder

Police investigating after Paul Vivier, 29, discovered in hotel

Fire at Victoria hotel contained to one room, leaves 20 suites in need of remediation

Fire crews extinguished the blaze at the Comfort Inn in 12 minutes

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Vancouver Island school principal mourns family killed during US protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Considerations made to keep Island community’s drive-by birthday celebrations going

Trucks will tone it down or not use horns at all to bring some joy to kids and older folks

Summer tubing ban on Cowichan River lifted

The Tube Shack opening on June 27

Most Read