The Fairfield United Church is being demolished to make way for a new multi-use development. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Demolition begins on 93-year-old Fairfield church

Multi-use development planned for space at Moss Street and Fairfield Road

Bystanders, business owners and students on their lunch break at Sir James Douglas Elementary watch as a backhoe rips the ceiling beams down from the Fairfield United Church Thursday afternoon.

The 93-year-old church at 1303 Fairfield Road is being demolished to make way for Unity Commons, a 15-unit, four-storey, multi-purpose development with ground floor commercial space and room for the United Church congregation.

RELATED: Development replacing Fairfield United Church gets final approval

“I’m excited about seeing the change, to see it re-built and re-purposed,” said Nancy Buchanan, owner of Looking Glass, a salon located on Moss Street, adjacent to the church.

Residents and business owners in Fairfield have mixed views on the demolishment of Fairfield United Church. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

“It’s a new space. It’s a new church hall – the choirs can come back in, the Brownies, the AA meetings, all those things that happen around here in the evenings,” she said. “It will all be available again. I’m sick of looking at an empty building and I’m also excited to see change.”

The road to removing the long-standing church wasn’t a smooth one – a number of Fairfield locals rallied to save it from demolition – but a lengthy assessment put minimum seismic and safety upgrades at $2.5 million.

“We had a tough choice to make: to either save the building or save the church and its congregation,” developer Nicole Roberts told Black Press Media in March. “This project has chosen the church and its people. It’s chosen to be a placemaker, to create rental housing supply and to ensure that the Fairfield United Church would continue to worship and work in this neighbourhood as it has for over 90 years.”

READ ALSO: What is ‘affordable housing?’

Gary Pearson works in Fairfield and has lived in Victoria for 56 years. He says he’s sad to watch local infrastructure change.

“Basically, what gave our city character and what attracted people to our city in the first place is slowly being destroyed. I don’t belong here anymore,” he said. “Instead of renovating buildings to live in, like a lot of the rest of the world, we knock buildings down and build new ones.”

Demolition of the church is expected to take up to two weeks.

With files from Nicole Crescenzi.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

B.C. ends short experiment with growler fills at restaurants

Province extends take-out sales of six-packs, wine

VicPD seeking witnesses for fatal crash on Hillside Avenue

A pedestrian was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries, where she later died

VicPD searching for three men in connection to random assault that put two in hospital

If you see these men you’re asked to call VicPD’s non-emergency line

Public welcomed back to Sidney Spit ferry and camping ground

Service opens July 20 with new ferry contractor and other pandemic-related changes

Court strikes down Sidney’s denial of proposed cannabis store

Justice Jennifer Power orders municipality to reconsider application and pay court costs

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

Feds fund safe drug supply pilot program for Cowichan

The opioid overdose crisis continues to be one of the most serious public health crises

B.C. businessman David Sidoo gets 3 months behind bars for college admissions scam

Sidoo was sentenced for hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons

PHOTOS: Inside a newly-listed $22M mega-mansion on ALR land in B.C.

The large home, located on ALR land, is one of the last new mansions to legally be built on ALR land

Most Read