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Affordable housing project celebrated in Saanich neighbourhood

64-unit Townley Place providing mix of housing types
Greater Victoria Housing Society executive director Virginia Holden speaks at the official opening of the Townley Place affordable housing development in Saanich on June 22. (Courtesy Vanessa Schneider)

Another residential development that fits into the District of Saanich’s plans for housing affordability was celebrated Wednesday.

The Greater Victoria Housing Society’s 64-unit Townley Place project, which replaced an aging residential building at 1780 Townley St. and opened in 2021, added 25 new units to the housing mix. The development was designed to be affordable for seniors, lower-income families and people with disabilities, with a mix of townhouses and apartments.

The COVID-19 pandemic had prevented an earlier grand opening, but those involved nonetheless voiced pride in seeing the project come to fruition.

Resident Stevan Paranosic said he and his family were fortunate to be accepted for a townhouse rental at the complex after struggling to find a permanent home and being forced to move twice during the pandemic.

“The smart design of the new townhomes allows us plenty of space – the open concept, high ceilings, ample outdoor space all work great for us and our two little guys,” he said in a release. Given recent cost of living hikes in the region, having residential stability has been perfect for their young family, he added.

The building has received independent kudos as well, having been named the best affordable housing site in 2021 by the Victoria Real Estate Board. From a construction standpoint, the buildings were built using passive housing design and technologies to reduce carbon emissions and ensure their long-term resiliency in a changing climate.

Society executive director Virginia Holden called Townley Place “an outstanding example of our commitment to building healthy communities here in Saanich, contributing to the stock of homes for families, persons with diverse abilities and seniors.”

Featuring four walk-up townhome buildings and one larger apartment building, the site includes a total of 23 studios, 31 one-bedroom, eight three-bedroom and two four-bedroom units. All units are rented currently.

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes said the development is a valuable addition to the district’s affordable housing portfolio, applauding the society for providing “solutions for one of our most difficult issues: the affordability of housing.”

ALSO READ: Government funding helps Baptist Housing seniors project move forward in Saanich

Funding and discounts secured to help complete the project came from BC Housing ($6.5 million) through its Investment in Affordable Housing Fund, the CRD’s Regional Housing Trust ($450,000), a $128,000 reduction in development levies from the District of Saanich, and $45,000 from the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation.

For more on the Greater Victoria Housing Society and its projects, visit


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An aerial view of Townley Place, the Greater Victoria Housing Society’s newest development in Saanich. (
Greater Victoria Housing Society executive director Virginia Holden, from left, Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes, society board past chair Lisa Edwards, and Saanich Couns. Susan Brice and Karen Harper officiate at the official opening of Townley Place at a June 22 ceremony. (Courtesy Vanessa Schneider)