Work to begin on aboriginal home in Victoria

City of Victoria’s second Traveller’s Inn motel conversion progressing

Victoria Native Friendship Centre executive director Bruce Parisian is pleased with the City of Victoria's plans to help create subsidized housing for aboriginal people at this former Traveller's Inn motel.

After a two-year wait, renovations are proceeding on the former Traveller’s Inn at 120 Gorge Rd. E., purchased by the City of Victoria in 2010 to create affordable housing.

Renovations will likely begin in the next couple of weeks on the smaller of the two structures on the lot.

The larger building has a different fate. Two months ago, stakeholders agreed to demolish and rebuild.

“The cost of the renovation on the three-storey building was so close to building new, it made more sense to build to suit,” said Bruce Parisian, executive director of the Victoria Native Friendship Centre. “I’m ecstatic.”

With help from various funders, the city will convert the old motel into subsidized housing for aboriginal tenants, with the Friendship Centre overseeing operations.

It is the second conversion of its kind for the city. Last month, renovations were completed on Queens Manor, another former Traveller’s Inn.

Parisian sees many advantages to building new, rather than renovating the whole motel.

“When you build to suit, obviously it’s a lot better living conditions,” he said. It will also allow for two- and possibly three-bedroom units for larger families.

Plans for the new building also include a common room, where the Friendship Centre can host celebrations and operate such programs as cooking classes.

“We call it the village,” Parisian said. “We want the community to be able to meet and support one another.”

The timeline for the new portion of the housing complex is unclear, as it requires community consultation.

Renovations to the existing building, however, will progress much faster. Parisian hopes to see the facility operational by the end of next year.

“These studio units will be housing for aboriginal youth coming out of care, or for very young families with one child, or grandmothers raising grandchildren,” he said.

To date, 70 people have taken a course called ready-to-rent, in anticipation of living in the building.

In total, the city has budgeted $1.1 million for the job, which represents a middle ground figure between the city’s original estimate of $400,000 and the friendship centre’s estimate of $4 million.

Funding will come from the Victoria Housing Trust Reserve ($390,000), Capital Regional District Housing ($100,000) and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation ($624,000).

rholmen@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Neighbour details hearing ‘thuds’ the day girls found dead in Oak Bay

Jury at double-murder trial hears from Andrew Berry’s neighbour

‘Goodness prevails’: neighbours reflect following suspicious death of 60-year-old Metchosin man

Martin Payne was found dead in his Metchosin home on Friday. Police have confirmed foul play.

Owners of Saanich coastal bluff home say it does not damage environment

Douglas and Brenda MacAskill rest their claim on a report with unknown authorship

Repatriation efforts work to heal and connect through history: Royal BC Museum

Victoria museum’s efforts bolstered by B.C. repatriation grant

Swastikas appear on downtown Victoria bus shelters

VicPD says graffiti has increased significantly in last six months

VIDEO: Sparrows raise their chicks in Cadboro Bay deck planter

Jill Yoneda captured 11 days up close with tiny Junco sparrows

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

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

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Chinook retention begins on North Island, but amid new size limit

DFO calls measures ‘difficult but necessary’ following rockslide on Fraser River

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

Most Read