BY DUCK PATERSON
The open house for the Heart on the Hill affordable-housing project was a long-awaited day for the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association and other community members.
The mixed-income rental building that will house individuals with a wide range of ages, incomes, and abilities was finally presented to the public on Saturday, March 25. More than 150 people attended the open house and had an opportunity to tour the 36-unit complex.
LRCA president Sandra Marquis thanked all the visitors and especially Cityspaces, project managers for the building. The architects from Checkwitch Poiron and representatives from the building contractor, Kinetic, also attended and took time to talk and explain the various features of the building. Marquis also had a special thanks for Candi McNeil and the volunteers who organized the open house.
“This celebration allows us to honour the past and to look forward to the future,” Marquis said. “We remember St John’s the Evangelist Church, the Anglican church that stood on this site for 115 years and was a vital part of the Ladysmith community. We remember Pat and Gordon Edge who left a bequest to the LRCA that allowed purchase of the property from the Anglican Diocese of B.C. We honour the 2016 dream of the Ladysmith Supported Housing Committee that started this project. And we thank the many other individuals and organizations who contributed to this building over the intervening years.”
Rev. Deborah Rivet from the Anglican Diocese said a blessing for the building and the many people involved in it coming to fruition. She also blessed the people who will soon be calling the Heart on the Hill home.
Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley said the members of the resources centre need to be congratulated on navigating their way through making the project a reality.
Whenever their name comes up in government, he said, “it’s always with respect as they can always get the good things done.”
He expressed to the board that he hopes that they can continue on this path of working with others to make affordable housing more available in Ladysmith.
Mayor Aaron Stone also congratulated and thanked the resources centre and all those involved in the creation of the facility he said is badly needed in the community.
“This is a prime example of people and groups coming together through service and speaks highly of the population of Ladysmith,” Stone said. “The town is proud of what has been accomplished here and it shows what can be built on from small beginnings.”
Marquis said all involved are now looking forward to a space that is more than bricks and mortar.
“We plan for a community that is inclusive and welcoming and that is an important part of the Ladysmith community,” she said.
Cowichan Housing Association is handling the tenancy applications and it’s anticipated that individuals will be able to start to move into the Heart on the Hill before the end of April.Follow @nanaimobulletin