Surplus DND building in Esquimalt floats away to new home

Local heritage advocate glad to see oldtime politician’s former home saved, moved to new site

A Nickel Brothers driver starts up his truck in preparation to move a house from 316 Anson St. on Department of National Defence land to a barge at the shoreline near Macaulay Point. The building was towed up Island to Buckley Bay on Monday.

An Island couple have come to the rescue of a DND heritage home previously slated for the scrapyard.

The property, located at 316 Anson St. near Macaulay Point, is the former home of John Jardine, Esquimalt’s representative in the Provincial Assembly from 1907 to 1912.

The heritage committee for the Township of Esquimalt cried foul in September when Parks Canada said the building didn’t qualify for heritage protection and it was placed on DND’s surplus inventory list.

But early Monday morning, the three-storey wood-framed structure was loaded onto a barge and towed to a half-acre lot between Buckley Bay and Union Bay.

The operation is nothing new for buyers Ben and Jen Ford.

The couple have replanted six heritage houses along the east coast of Vancouver Island since 2006, including their current home in Union Bay, which originated in Vancouver’s Dunbar neighbourhood.

“We’re pretty unique in what we do,” Ben said. “Years later, you look back and realize it’s very different than what most other people call a profession.”

A key factor in moving the home was in purchasing a lot close to the water, he added.

Because of the building’s height, B.C. Hydro crews were on hand Friday to remove electrical obstacles as house movers Nickel Brothers wheeled the structure toward the shoreline at Macaulay Point.

“The DND was wanting to remove the house one way or another, so we did about two months of work in about a week and a half,” Ford said.

Biological and geotechnical surveys had to be completed on a creek bed running through the Buckley Bay property, and the couple were responsible for readying the interior of the house for the move.

Jack Bates, a military heritage advocate who fought to save the building, said he’s glad the Fords came forward with a compromise.

“If it can’t stay on site with some form of enterprise to make it pay for itself … at least it’s being relocated,” he said.

The home features first-cut pine and fir flooring, a split staircase and four original fireplaces.

It was most recently used as a child-care facility for DND staff, according to federal documents.

“It’s a win-win for everybody,” Ford said.

“The DND gets the house out of there in a politically correct manner, the Hallmark Society is happy it wasn’t destroyed and we’ve got an amazing project to work on.”

dpalmer@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Saanich mayoral candidates clash over leadership

Mayor Richard Atwell justifies slate, while Coun. Fred Haynes accuses Atwell of disparaging council

Alcohol and drugs ruled out in serious crash that closed Sooke Rd last week

Two of the three drivers taken to hospital have since been released

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

Greater Victoria’s real estate market remains strong compared to rest of Canada

Despite cooling, Victoria’s real estate remains a seller’s market, the only one in western Canada

Permit to give deer birth control withheld until consultation with First Nations complete

Complexity of consultation will depend on level of First Nations support for the project

Bear makes midnight front porch visit in Campbell River

A black bear paid a Campbell River family a midnight visit last… Continue reading

Saanich mayoral candidates prepare for first roundtable

Mayor Richard Atwell and Coun. Fred Haynes will be among four mayoral candidates at Thursday’s forum

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

Legal society poster seeks complainants against two cops on Downtown Eastside

Pivot Legal Society became aware of allegations made against the officers after a video circulated

Jury to deliberate in case of Calgary man accused of murdering woman

Curtis Healy could be convicted of first-degree murder, second-degree murder or manslaughter

House arrest for man who abused disabled B.C. woman, then blamed her

‘Groomed complainant’ and ‘violated position of trust,’ judge says

Liberals want to know what Canadians think of legalized weed

The federal government will comb social media for Canadians’ pot-related behaviour

Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen boasts of aiding Mueller investigation

Cohen could provide information on whether Trump’s campaign co-ordinated with Russians

Most Read