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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Saanich woman says sexual assault was dismissed by police because of her ‘body language’

Patrol officers investigate sexual assault files, make decisions on what goes to Crown counsel

‘Tarantula moth’ spotted in broad daylight in Victoria

Polyphemus moths are one of the largest insects in B.C.

Sooke RCMP seek video after tires slashed on five vehicles

10 tires damaged in overnight incident in Sooke

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses claim against Island Corridor Foundation

Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation was seeking return of reserve land as railway sits unused

Loaded gun, hundreds of rounds ammunition seized in Victoria

Victoria police focus on Project Burnside Gorge Connect

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Black worker files discrimination complaint against Facebook

Oscar Veneszee, Jr. has worked as an operations program manager at Facebook since 2017

Nestle Canada selling bottled water business to local family-owned company

The Pure Life bottled water business is being sold to Ice River Springs

Major B.C. salmon farm tests new containment system to curb sea lice infestations

System “essentially eliminates” contact between wild and farmed fish stocks, says Cermaq

Major B.C. salmon farm tests new containment system to curb sea lice infestations

System “essentially eliminates” contact between wild and farmed fish stocks, says Cermaq

Most Read