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

Oak Bay realtor recalls sale of home where family was murdered

Home sellers not always required to disclose violent crimes

Victoria police seek witnesses after assault reported by man in wheelchair

Cops hope to speak with witnesses near Yates and Douglas on Jan. 13 between 1:45 and 3:15 p.m.

Olympic Gold medalist rower disppointed Saanich won’t host national training centre

Adam Kreek said also he respects decision by Rowing Canada Aviron

Victoria dancer shares concussion experience in a neuro-diverse performance

Stacey Horton’s Concussion explores living with and recovering from brain injury

Victoria teen with diabetes told ‘no food’ on B.C. Transit bus

B. C. Transit apologizes, saying it will look into food and drink policy

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

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

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Most Read