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YMCA-YWCA announces View Royal facility

Greater Victoria YMCA-YWCA CEO Jennie Edgecombe and View Royal Mayor Graham Hill announce a new satellite
Greater Victoria YMCA-YWCA CEO Jennie Edgecombe and View Royal Mayor Graham Hill announce a new satellite 'Y' to be built at the Eagle Creek Village development, bringing 36 new daycare spaces to the area, along with employment and volunteer opportunities.
— image credit: Kyle Wells/News staff

A satellite YMCA-YWCA will be built on the West Shore as part of the Eagle Creek Village development in View Royal, which officially broke ground Thursday morning.

The announcement came as the shovels were turned to commemorate the beginning of construction for the $100-million, mixed-use development across Watkiss Way from Victoria General Hospital.

The project is the brainchild of Omicron, the company also behind the Coho development in View Royal.

The satellite YMCA-YWCA will be housed in a 10,000 square foot, self-standing building within the development and will provide a licensed childcare centre with 36 spaces for infants, toddlers and preschool aged children, along with programs for teens and youth and fitness and wellness facilities for all.

"A mini-Y," said Jennie Edgecombe, CEO for Greater Victoria YMCA-YWCA.

This facility and another set to be built at Langford's Westhills are the result of a direct effort of the YMCA-YWCA to branch out into the West Shore, Edgecombe said.

"We've seen there's a need for Y services out here," Edgecombe said. "Particularly we do so much work with young families, it's just been a perfect fit."

Edgecombe said View Royal has lost about 40 daycare spaces over the last few years, so the new facility will help make up for that loss. It will also create employment and volunteer opportunities in the community.

The beginning of construction marks the end of a long road for Omicron, who have been tackling the project since 2006. For the past few years the developer has been working closely with the Town of View Royal and mayor and council to reach approval for the project.

While concerns have arisen over such items as traffic flow and building height, in the end the two parties came to an agreement both believe will be mutually beneficial.

"They drove us hard, they got their pound of flesh, but that's their job," said Peter Laughlin, project manager. "With the team that we have here now and with the tenants that we have in place, it's going to be an absolutely outstanding project."

Grocer Quality Foods, Cascadia Liqour, Forbes Pharmacy, Tim Horton's and Starbucks are already committed to opening locations at Eagle Creek. The spot will also house residential units and professional and medical services.

"At the end of the day the project is a better project for it. We're really happy," Laughlin said.

The hope is to have the first phase of the development finished by 2015.

"This is a good day for View Royal," said Mayor Graham Hill. "The (project) adds a new vitality to this corner of our town, and we are just delighted. …

"View Royal is fussy. This council works hard, they turn every page … so getting here has been quite a challenge. So here we are celebrating today. It's come along well."

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