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.

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

Just Posted

Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts visits Victoria for Comic Con

He says he’s looking forward to the event, but don’t ask him where the snake is

Overturned vessels, simulated smoke expected in Victoria harbour for Coast Guard exercise

Coast Guard and other first responders will be on the water from 1 - 4 p.m. Thursday

UPDATED: Missing Victoria man found dead in Port Renfrew

Police continuing investigation, death not considered suspicious

Yarns, string and human hair pose a risk to Greater Victoria birds

Wild ARC handles a number of entanglement cases each year

Timelapse shows Blue Morpho chrysalis morphing at Butterfly Gardens

One of many speices of butterlflies at the Buterfly Garden

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Okanagan man, Yorkshire terrier chased by coyote

Animal sightings have been reported around West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

B.C. lottery winner being sued by Surrey co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Pot industry welcomes decreased edibles tax, but unhappy medical tax remains

Taxes can increase the cost of medical cannabis by as much as 25 per ceny

‘It has to send a message:’ Broncos families await sentencing for truck driver

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving and apologized in court

MPs continue voting marathon as Tories protest shutdown of Wilson-Raybould motion

Multiple MPs have resigned from Trudeau’s Liberal cabinet

Most Read