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

Just Posted

‘Not well thought out:’ Arizona family slams B.C. speculation tax

American family spends half the year in vacation home on Vancouver Island

Good things come in small, strong, fast packages

Sierra Gillis hopes to represent Canada one day in fastball or rugby

New UVic study to track decline of insects in Metchosin

Traps will be set to catch and weigh flying insects

Edibles sidelined in proposed amendments to Cannabis Act

Health Canada says edible regulation is still more than a year away

Paralympic dream for rider with cerebral palsy

Kim Scott’s goal is to represent Canada and won’t let anything, including cerebral palsy, get in her way

Canucks find scoring touch in 5-2 win over Blackhawks

Four Vancouver skaters have two points apiece in victory over Chicago

Family of B.C. wildfire victim wants better emergency preparedness for vulnerable people

Williams Lake’s David Jeff “fell through the cracks”

Senate backs bill to legalize recreational marijuana

Justin Trudeau reminded senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize pot

Lower water pressure, discolouration expected Friday in Gorge-Tillicum area

McKenzie interchange work could affect water for up to a week

Mainroad crews cleaning up after winter

Motorists warned to be on the lookout for roadside workers

The most “Victoria” way to watch baseball?

HarbourCats fans can now watch games from double-decker buses

Where Canadians buy real estate abroad: report

Hot Spots: Top 30 home-buying destinations for Canadians in the Americas

Ban on grizzly bear hunt, new rules take effect April 1

Taxidermists, tanners will have to report on any grizzly bears or parts brought to them

Most Read