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.

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.

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

Just Posted

Rendering of the proposed Esquimalt public safety building. (Courtesy Township of Esquimalt)
Esquimalt blazes new trail toward modern public safety building

Township using alternative approval process for first time to gauge public support for proposal

Landmarks such as Howard the giant gnome at Galey's Farm in Saanich make a stunning backdrop for celebratory dance in the Greater Victoria Festival Society trailer for its coming Dance Victoria campaign. (Screeshot/Greater Victoria Festival Society)
Residents’ videos help campaign Dance Across Victoria

Celebratory dance clips to be compiled into Greater Victoria Festival Society video

Reynolds Secondary School’s spring musical Freaky Friday features Grace Fouracre as teen Ellie Blake (left) who swaps bodies with her overworked mother, Katherine, played by Nadia Lurie. (Photo courtesy Reynolds Secondary School)
Saanich high school goes virtual with Freaky Friday musical

Reynolds Secondary theatre program to livestream performances March 9-12

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating Mackenzie Courchene, a Langford teenager.
MISSING: Mackenzie Courchene last seen in Langford on March 2

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating the Langford teenager

Saanich Fire Department. Black Press Media File Photo
Fire displaces three Saanich families from two homes

Saanich firefighters found the fire had spread to a neighbouring home upon arriving

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

Most Read