Plans to build a community centre on the historic Craigflower Manor property in View Royal are underway.
Last week, an application from the Victoria Highland Games Association was presented to View Royal council. The application is to re-zone the site so it can be used for various things like assemblies, catering, a museum, a cafe and restaurant and a gift shop, among other things.
Craigflower Manor is a national and provincial historic site and serves as the home base for the Victoria Highland Games Association. It is also considered to be a gateway into the Town of View Royal.
The association has been caring for the property for the past six years, making renovations and performing maintenance on the site.
Jim Maxwell, the president of the Victoria Highland Games Association, said they have been working on plans for the community centre with the province and View Royal for a few years.
If all goes well, the centre will be built at the corner of Admirals Road and the Island Highway.
The manor was originally build for the McKenzie family in 1856. The family immigrated to Canada from Scotland and took care of Craigflower Farm.
Maxwell said the new building will pay homage to the site’s Scottish roots.
“The idea is to create a building that recognized the heritage of the McKenzie’s that were on the property but also compliment the manor,” Maxwell said. “The manor has always had a place of prominence on the property.”
Maxwell said the new building will be sunken a little lower, due to the natural slope of the grounds, so the manor can be seen above it. It will be built of stone and wood and the main hall will have glass windows with a view of the manor.
It will also be circular which, according to the application, is “inspired by the historic architecture of gathering spaces.”
The building is proposed to accommodate up to 200 people and will be able to host a range of events from meetings to weddings.
“We welcome all groups to use the facility,” Maxwell said. “I think our group with all the various stakeholders are bringing life back to a crown jewel of a property and one of the main entrances of the Town of View Royal.”
Public hearings on the community centre are expected to take place in the new year.