Old DND home in Esquimalt placed on surplus list

Property has deep Esquimalt roots, heritage advocate says

Esquimalt resident and heritage advocate Jack Bates stands near a 115-year-old heritage building on Anson Street that he’s trying to convince DND to save.

Some Esquimalt residents are hoping a last-minute push will save the home of a former prominent politician from the chopping block at CFB Esquimalt.

Located on federal property at 316 Anson St. near Macaulay Point is the former home of John Jardine, who represented Esquimalt in the Provincial Assembly from 1907 to 1912.

It underwent a heritage review by Parks Canada in April after it was identified by the Department of National Defense as surplus inventory.

“It’s potentially going to come down in a couple of weeks,” said Jack Bates, Esquimalt resident and heritage advocate.

Although the federal review does include information on the home’s heritage value from the Esquimalt Archives and former heritage advisory committee chair Liz Dill, the township’s residents should have been given more opportunity to voice their concerns, Bates said.

The federal review used a scorecard to rank the Anson Street home on aesthetic and material design, historical significance and other factors. It concluded the building did not meet the threshold for heritage status. “Some of the references are incorrect and I’m appealing to the base commander to review it again,” Bates said.

The home was most recently used as a child care facility for DND staff, but its condition is considered beyond economical repair, base commander Capt. Bob Auchterlonie said in a letter to the heritage committee.

Mayor Barb Desjardins said she has arranged to meet with Auchterlonie to discuss the fate of the building, but pointed out Esquimalt has no jurisdiction over the matter.

“That being said, we work together and the key is to have good communication with the base. So I have let the heritage committee know that I will take that forward as a concern to the base commander,” she said.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

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