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 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

development

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Landis Carmichael is the Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as the Emergency Services Award winner. (Photo courtesy Landis Carmichael)
29-year-old firefighter has spent almost half his life with Langford department

Landis Carmichael is the 2021 recipient of the Emergency Services Award

Shannon Davis, manager at Sidney’s Star Cinema, holds up the largest available bag of popcorn available for sale at the theatre. It also also sells four smaller sizes in generating revenue following its closure last fall because of COVID-19. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney theatre fills bottom line with popcorn sales

Theatre applying to return to doing our household-only private rentals

Several BC Ferries sailings are cancelled Friday morning due to adverse weather. (Black Press Media File)
Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay ferry sailing cancelled due to high winds, sea state

Adverse weather causes cancellations across several BC Ferries routes

The construction zone remains for now at Clover Point, but plans for a new pedestrian zone and partially closed traffic loop were approved by Victoria councillors on Thursday. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Victoria council compromises with partial closure of Clover Point

Option preserves parking 14 spots facing ocean, creates more pedestrian space

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

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

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen as COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Ella Donovan with mom Tina outside Fuller Lake Arena before heading onto the ice for practice. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Young Ladysmith skater watches and waits in battle against cancer

Ella Donovan’s tumour began a tumultuous time, but community support eased the burden

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Most Read