CPR Steamship building needs new roof

Victoria heritage building undergoing renovations

It started as an earthquake-proofing reno, but the job expands as more problems reveal themselves.

The CPR Steamship building, bordering the Inner Harbour, has been reinforced and repainted, but now needs a new roof. Crews discovered significant water leakage due to an improperly nailed roof.

Last week, the Provincial Capital Commission, which manages the public asset, received an additional $1.5 million from the provincial government to handle the growing list of repairs. That’s in addition to an original $3 million grant.

The leaking roof is made with the original Welsh slate. PCC’s heritage consultant Ken Johnson recommended salvaging as much as the original material as possible,  but the PCC has decided instead to replace it with a substitute material.

“There are other modern products that create the same impression but do a better job,” said PCC CEO Ray Parks.

He is now seeking permission for the substitution from city hall, a requirement due to the 1924 building’s heritage significance.

“Due to the shallow roof slope, and concern for the weight of a slate roof in a seismic event, it is recommended the substitute slate be approved,” wrote the city’s heritage senior planner, Steve Barber, in his report.

The replacement, however, must convey the same appearance, he emphasized.

The roof project will not postpone the tenanting process now underway, said Parks.

Parks is negotiating with four parties, and possibly a fifth who all want to lease some or all of the space.

“I can’t even imagine how I cut and paste and mix and match to make them all fit,” he said.

Parks plans to select tenants by August.









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