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UVic eyes site for Oceans Network facility

Sept. 19 open house will look at future of Queenswood property
The University of Victoria plans to move the growing Ocean Networks Canada research agency into the vacant buildings of the former Sisters of St. Ann’s care home and retreat centre at Arbutus and Queenswood. A rezoning and renovation are needed to bring the buildings up to par.

The vacant Queenswood property that once housed a senior care facility run by the Sisters of St. Ann could soon host Oceans Networks Canada.

The University of Victoria currently provides space for ONC, but the marine agency which operates the world-leading Neptune and Venus ocean floor observatories, is outgrowing its home on McKenzie Avenue. UVic would like to move OCN into the six-hectare wooded property, situated on the corner of Arbutus Road and Queenswood Drive.

Representatives from UVic and OCN will be on hand to meet with the community  at an open house about the proposal, Monday, Sept. 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Cadboro Bay United Church.

The Queenswood property has a building previously used as a care facility, as well as an old retreat centre and a small house, and UVic will need to apply for rezoning and perform renovations to accommodate ONC. UVic Properties will apply to rezone the main building and to convert residential rooms into research offices and research space. UVic purchased the Queenswood property from the Sisters of St. Ann in 2010, which is within walking distance of the main campus.

The existing zoning allows for uses such as hospital, nursing home, community residential facility, child day care, adult day care and congregate housing.