The Victoria branch of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria is closing this summer and relocating to Esquimalt after expensive repair costs became prohibitive in the former fire hall building at 1240 Yates St.

Greater Victoria Boys and Girls Club to close Yates Street activity centre

Seismic upgrading and repair costs force youth club to relocate to Esquimalt facilities after five decades in former Victoria fire hall

The Victoria branch of the Boys and Girls Club Services of Greater Victoria is closing its doors this summer after a half-century in the former fire hall building at 1240 Yates St.

Looming repair costs and seismic upgrading concerns are forcing the relocation of the club to newer offices at 1195 Esquimalt Rd., within walking distance of the Harbourside Esquimalt Club and close to the Vic West club on Craigflower Road, said executive director Dalyce Dixon.

“For over five decades our home base at 1240 Yates Street has served our community well,” Dixon said. “In recent years we have come to realize that the aging building has some overwhelming challenges that are beyond our resources to adequately address.”

The number of youth who live within walking distance of the 22,000 square-foot Yates Street facility has also declined drastically since the club opened in 1960, she added.

Dixon said both the Fairfield Gonzales Community Association and Fernwood Community Centre are excellent nearby facilities that will continue to serve residents near the old facility.

Local Boys and Girls Clubs operate in Esquimalt, VicWest, Central Saanich, and the Westshore including Langford, Colwood and Metchosin.

The history of the facility is described below from a Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria press release:

The Victoria Club was conceived by the late Colonel Bull as a ‘living’ memorial to his son who had been shot down in WWII in 1943.  He gathered together some of his friends and acquaintances to assist in its formation and to serve as directors. In 1960 they convinced the city council to provide the recently discarded Yates Street fire hall as a clubhouse. The directors then provided or raised sufficient funds to start and maintain the Club in its early years.

Initially the primary purpose of the club was to provide activities suited to the many, many children and youth living in the immediate area of the club. There was little to occupy them in their spare time and what was then Central Junior High School across the road was greatly overcrowded and understaffed and unable to offer much in the way of after school activities. The programs offered by the club consisted largely of team sports and craft activities that could be carried out in the building and on adjacent school playing fields. The staff and volunteers provided the needed guidance together with a friendly ear, some counseling and positive role models for those who needed it.

Just Posted

First woman appointed rector at Esquimalt Anglican church since 1866 consecration

Gail Rodger is the 32nd rector at St. Peter and St. Paul Anglican parish

Trudeau concludes re-election campaign at Victoria pub

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau makes his final campaign appearance

Saanich Recreation needs volunteers at Commonwealth Place

Welcome Ambassadors needed at Saanich Commonwealth Place to engage with, direct, and inform visitors

Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce honours former Sidney mayor Marie Rosko

Rosko received lifetime achievement award during 2019 Crystal Awards

Man seriously injured after fall from Johnson Street Bridge

Police say incident stands as public safety reminder

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Camera licker, wind gusts and rare bird make headlines this weekend

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

Most Read