Colwood residents will have to say goodbye to a well-known fixture in the community.
An excavator was seen tearing down the snow-covered Colwood Pub on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon.
Mayor Carol Hamilton has mixed feelings about the fate of the old pub.
“I remember the Colwood Pub in its glory days, when it was situated in the corner and was operated as a pub,” she said. “It’s transitioned in multiple ways since then.”
Repeated calls and emails to the Onni Group were not returned.
In September, the Vancouver-based developer of the Colwood Corners site announced it would gift the old building to any parties interested in taking ownership of it. The pub was offered free of charge but the new owner would have had to pay for any costs related to its removal or transportation from the site.
Hamilton said it was likely the cost of such a project that deterred people from saving the building and why the City never entertained the idea of moving it.
“The idea of ripping it back to the studs, the cost of moving it because of the height of the building, free or otherwise, doesn’t make it a very economical decision in the scheme of things,” she said, noting a few years ago Royal Roads University wanted to move the pub to the campus, hoping to repurpose it as a student centre, but estimated it would cost about $200,000 for the move alone.
“Because it’s been left to elemental interaction, there’s a lot of mould to the inside of the building … Where’s the heritage? The heritage is the location of the building. For the building itself, there’s little value to substantiate the cost [of moving it.]”
While it is most well-known as the Colwood Inn, the pub was most recently operated as the Cross Roads Bar and Grill.
The 1936 Tudor-style building has been siting behind a fence on blocks since it was relocated on the Colwood Corners site back in 2012 to make way for the Capital City Centre development project that never materialized.
Onni inherited the building when it took over ownership of the site.
The first phase of the Colwood Corners development will include three residential buildings and 152,000-square-feet of commercial space featuring four anchor tenants. The first phase is expected to be completed by 2020.