Ex-Olympic housing ready soon

Thirty-six homeless people  will soon have a place to call their own. The Olympic Vista apartments, which will provide transitional housing for people 55 and over, are nearing completion.

The Carey Road project began in May when one-bedroom modular suites were shipped from the former Olympic athletes’ village in Whistler.

The Saanich location is one of the first steps in creating the Mount View Campus of Care site. The project, a collaboration between Saanich, the Capital Regional Hospital District and Victoria Cool Aid Society, is three to four months behind its nine-month timeline.  

The project has been visually interesting for observers as finished suites were stacked up and then an exterior shell was added to create a finished look.

“It’s been kind of neat how it’s been put together. It reminds me of LEGO,” Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard said, admitting he couldn’t fully conceptualize how the units would fit together when the project was first pitched to him.

Planners aim to have residents moved in by May.

“Right now everybody’s working very hard to try to bring this project in by April 1,” said John Crean, manager of housing for the Cool Aid Society. “This is not a normal project that contractors are familiar with, so they had a lot of challenges at the beginning to work through.”

Olympic Vista is on a $1.15-million parcel of land donated by the Capital Regional Hospital District, and was constructed as part of the $8.4-million Olympic legacy fund from the province. 

The site will also include a 244-bed residential care home, 165 independent living suites for seniors and 14 affordable townhouses for families. 

– with files from Kyle Slavin

nnorth@saanichnews.com