English Inn general manager Jay Smith is opening the doors during renovations for the community to see the progress of Aragon Properties’ redevelopment of the Esquimalt landmark. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

English Inn offers public tours of Esquimalt redevelopment

General manager wants to clear up miscommunications and gather community input

With renovation at the English Inn well on its way in Esquimalt, the general manager is inviting curious minds to come view the progress, providing free daily tours of the project.

Each weekday from 4 to 5 p.m. visitors can find Jay Smith wearing a hard hat and armed with a flashlight, touring the public through the heritage property, which is being redeveloped by Aragon Properties. Smith said he kept hearing the same refrain from neighbours: “we just don’t feel we had enough input, we don’t know exactly what’s going on.”

“So I thought – why not just show them?” he said. “I’m getting a lot of feedback, which is great.”

The tight-knit community of Esquimalt has been active in the development process, providing input at council meetings and protesting the use of adjacent Hither Green park for an emergency access route.

“I get it,” Smith said. “We want to be good neighbours. This is a great community and we want to be a part of it.”

Aragon’s plans for the property include renovating the existing main building, built in 1906, expanding the basement to accommodate weddings and other events, and constructing 180 condominium units. An additional building with 14 more hotel rooms and a spa are also in the works.

But, go see for yourself. The tours take groups of six through each floor of the main building, detailing the history and offering a glimpse into the future.

“We want to be a quality project and we want to be a community hotel,” Smith explained. “For us, it’s all about legacy, environment and community.”

Smith plans to run the tours until Dec. 5, with plans for more as the project continues. If you’re interested in seeing the process from the inside out, RSVP to jsmith@englishinn.ca.

For those wishing to offer input on the project, council will hear a variance request at its Nov. 27 meeting, starting at 7 p.m. at the municipal hall.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

UPDATE: Barb Desjardins clinches another win, will serve fourth term as Esquimalt mayor

Three new councillors will join three veterans at Esquimalt Township council

EDITORIAL: Voters across Greater Victoria embrace progressive ideas, new course in regional governance

Election results also reveal regional fissure between core and outer communities

B.C. Guide dogs is looking for volunteer puppy raisers

Labrador retrievers need to learn obedience and socialization before heading to work

Voters in Saanich and Victoria support creation of citizens’ assembly on amalgamation

Group will continue to keep pressure on Victoria and Saanich councils after amalgamation referendum

Victoria and Saanich voters elect to move ahead with amalgamation talks

Victoria and Saanich voters have chosen to move ahead with exploring amalgamation… Continue reading

UPDATE: Lisa Helps re-elected as mayor of Victoria

Nine people were seeking the mayor’s seat for the City of Victoria and 29 candidates hoped to be chosen for council

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for Oct. 19

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

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. man sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Cam Levins ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Most Read