Work to begin on aboriginal home in Victoria

City of Victoria’s second Traveller’s Inn motel conversion progressing

Victoria Native Friendship Centre executive director Bruce Parisian is pleased with the City of Victoria's plans to help create subsidized housing for aboriginal people at this former Traveller's Inn motel.

Victoria Native Friendship Centre executive director Bruce Parisian is pleased with the City of Victoria's plans to help create subsidized housing for aboriginal people at this former Traveller's Inn motel.

After a two-year wait, renovations are proceeding on the former Traveller’s Inn at 120 Gorge Rd. E., purchased by the City of Victoria in 2010 to create affordable housing.

Renovations will likely begin in the next couple of weeks on the smaller of the two structures on the lot.

The larger building has a different fate. Two months ago, stakeholders agreed to demolish and rebuild.

“The cost of the renovation on the three-storey building was so close to building new, it made more sense to build to suit,” said Bruce Parisian, executive director of the Victoria Native Friendship Centre. “I’m ecstatic.”

With help from various funders, the city will convert the old motel into subsidized housing for aboriginal tenants, with the Friendship Centre overseeing operations.

It is the second conversion of its kind for the city. Last month, renovations were completed on Queens Manor, another former Traveller’s Inn.

Parisian sees many advantages to building new, rather than renovating the whole motel.

“When you build to suit, obviously it’s a lot better living conditions,” he said. It will also allow for two- and possibly three-bedroom units for larger families.

Plans for the new building also include a common room, where the Friendship Centre can host celebrations and operate such programs as cooking classes.

“We call it the village,” Parisian said. “We want the community to be able to meet and support one another.”

The timeline for the new portion of the housing complex is unclear, as it requires community consultation.

Renovations to the existing building, however, will progress much faster. Parisian hopes to see the facility operational by the end of next year.

“These studio units will be housing for aboriginal youth coming out of care, or for very young families with one child, or grandmothers raising grandchildren,” he said.

To date, 70 people have taken a course called ready-to-rent, in anticipation of living in the building.

In total, the city has budgeted $1.1 million for the job, which represents a middle ground figure between the city’s original estimate of $400,000 and the friendship centre’s estimate of $4 million.

Funding will come from the Victoria Housing Trust Reserve ($390,000), Capital Regional District Housing ($100,000) and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation ($624,000).

rholmen@vicnews.com

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

Just Posted

Gwen Spencer Hethey is one of four athletes being inducted into the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame this year. Here, she is pictured with her mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
Four new names added to Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame

Matt Pettinger, Gwen Spencer Hethey, Peter Lawless and Roger Skillings being inducted

The District of Saanich is accepting nominations for the 2021 Environmental Awards until June 1 at 4 p.m. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Nominations now open for Saanich’s 21st annual Environmental Awards

Awards recognize individuals and organizations making Saanich more sustainable

Rotary Club of Victoria-Harbourside president Angus Macpherson visited the Wear2Start Society boutique in Victoria to present a cheque to the society’s vice-president Alessandra Ringstad (left) and president Angela Mangiacasale. (Courtesy of Wear2Start)
Rotary club donates over $11,000 to Greater Victoria non-profit for women

Wear2Start Society provides clothing for women in need

Adrienne Rogers (LPN) and Tracy McConnell (RN) on the Victoria Hospice Unit. (Photo courtesy of Victoria Hospice)
Victoria Hospice bereavement counsellors dealing with a tsunami of grief

Last year, Victoria Hospice provided end-of-life care to more than 1,000 people

Paddles sit stacked and ready at a rowing regatta on Elk Lake in 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria junior girls rowing team nabs first in national Row to Tokyo challenge

Young Victoria City Rowing Club members row more than 2,250 km

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Most Read