City of Victoria looks to remove former E and N ticket office

Bidders sought for removal, re-use of Via Rail passenger train station

The City of Victoria is asking parties interested in acquiring the former E & N Railway station to submit their proposals for its relocation and reuse.

It’s not going to be an easy job for the winning proponent, however.

“This building is built on slab – it cannot be picked up and moved,” Coun. Pam Madoff said. “It’s likely to have to be deconstructed and rebuilt.”

The train station, located on the east side of the Johnson Street bridge, served passengers for the last time in April 2011, when VIA Rail stopped its Victoria-to-Courtenay run due to deteriorating track conditions. While the train is expected to run again in 2013, its new terminus will likely be the Vic West side of the harbour.

City staffer Peter Sparanese, newly appointed as principal to the Johnson Street bridge project, explained to council that proposals will be evaluated based on their cost to the city, as well as the “highest and best use” proposed.

The criteria left councillors with questions and a desire for more input.

“My gut feeling is given sensitivities around rail, heritage elements and other considerations, there could be value in sounding out council’s views,” said Coun. Ben Isitt.

He argued that council, rather than staff, should make the final decision.

City manager Gail Stephens, however, said a more appropriate council role would be giving input into more specific evaluation criteria.

In ranking the proposals, Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe said local use of the train station should get more weight than other considerations.

Mayor Dean Fortin disagreed.

“If a guy on Salt Spring Island will do it for free, I’m more interested in that than I am interested in paying somebody a lot of money to keep it for (relocation within) Victoria.”

Once the request for proposals is officially made, it will be posted at www.victoria.ca.

rholmen@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Malahat snow-covered as flakes fall across Greater Victoria

Snowfall warning in effect for parts of Vancouver Island

What’s going on this weekend in Greater Victoria, Feb. 22 to 24

Music, theatre, musical theatre, and home shows

UPDATE: Saanich Police respond to weapons incident on Veron Avenue

Police are asking the public to avoid 800-block until further notice

Sooke distillery wins an international award for best gin

After less than four years, Sheringham is racking up the awards

Victoria mayor preparing to tour Alberta oil sands

Lisa Helps heads to Alberta after an invitation came from Calgary councillor Ward Sutherland

Fashion Fridays: Must have wardrobe basics

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death has not been released

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Cryptocurrency exchange CEO who suddenly died leaves Kelowna house in will

Gerald Cotten, holding the keys to money tied up in his virtual currency exchange, died in December.

Regulator’s report, coming today, unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline battle

The Trans Mountain pipeline will remain a controversial topic both in the political ring and out

Australian woman killed in avalanche at Whistler

The woman and her partner were reportedly rescued by ski patrol, but she did not survive

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

Most Read