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The Songhees Wellness Centre

The Songhees Nation realized their long-held dream for a community gathering place with space for sports and recreation programs when the Wellness Centre facility officially opened in December of 2013. The Centre provides a wide variety of community activities and events.

The Wellness Centre has a full size gymnasium with change rooms, a fitness centre and a range of recreation activities to encourage active lifestyles. The Centre also has the ability to host sports events and seat up to 300 people in the retractable seating and stage areas.

A health centre wing allows the delivery of health initiatives in a holistic manner, and links programs to address physical, emotional and mental health needs for the community. A teaching kitchen promotes healthy lifestyles with programs such as cooking for diabetics. Additional facilities include a conference centre with multiple meeting rooms, administration offices and a commercial kitchen.

The building can also assist emergency responders who work in the area and serve as a post disaster gathering place for the local community.

The facility is targeting LEED Silver designation.

Midtown Park

Midtown Park is a five-story, 43 unit, wood frame condominium building, the first in Saanich to be built under the new six-story building code. A small neighbourhood coffee shop that looks across Rutledge Park is also included in the corner of the building.

Green initiatives include erosion and sediment control during construction, regional sourcing of materials, a geothermal system combined with in-floor radiant heat, alternative transportation availability, light pollution reduction, energy and water conservation, air quality control and parks donations. The overall design has many architectural features which use different shapes and materials to create a truly unique building.

The acquisition to completion of the seven single family lots was a 10 year process and included several trips to Saanich Council chambers and an ongoing collaboration with the neighbourhood. 


Union is located in the heart of downtown Victoria’s historic Old Town and blends the traditional brickwork facade found in the neighbourhood with the more contemporary designs of the neighbouring attached condominiums.

The project consists of two, five-storey wood frame residential buildings that feature 133 one and two bedroom homes with an elevated, landscaped central courtyard above the ground floor retail space.

A significant part of the project includes the restoration of the historic Finlayson Building facade and recreation of the historic midblock pedestrian connection called Theatre Alley. Careful work was done to restore the heritage facade on the Pandora side – reclaimed brick was recycled into other elements on the property. The project also features over 10,000 sq ft of retail fronting Fisgard Street and Pandora Avenue, including a flagship restaurant space with a private courtyard terrace along Theatre Alley.

Parker Johnston Manufacturing Facility

Built on the former site of an auto wrecker’s yard, Parker Johnston invested almost 2 years of environmental work before they erected their new building.

The new facility, made up of over 22,000 sq ft of warehouse and over 7,000 sq ft of office space, consolidates their operations and administration sites, and provides the capacity for growth that their business requires.

The new facility, made up of over 22,000 sq ft of warehouse and over 7,000 sq ft of office space, consolidates their operations and administration sites, and provides the capacity for growth that their business requires.

The eye-catching design on the front of the building is comprised of composite aluminum panels with a mirrored finish— the first of their kind used on Vancouver Island. The remainder of the building uses concrete tilt-up panels with patterned reveals to give the building’s finish a textured design.

Broadmead Village

The completion of an $8.2M sustainability-focused renovation resulted in a revitalized Broadmead Village. A single storey open-air retail centre of 134,775 sq ft, the 22 year old centre was transformed, beginning with upgraded storefronts and signage. The central breezeway was upgraded extensively into an interactive public realm with features that include an outdoor fireplace, water feature, covered seating area and free Wi-Fi.

Improved directional signage, widened and expanded sidewalks and raised crosswalks offer a more pedestrian-friendly environment.

The West Coast Contemporary design that defines the shopping centre reflects the natural landscape and the surrounding neighbourhood.

Porsche Centre Victoria

Once sharing a space with Volkswagen and Audi, the dealership was sold in 2012 with the intent to give each brand its own home.

The new building was designed for Porsche to reflect the features associated with the brand – clean, sleek and innovative. In order to accomplish this, the 16,000 sq ft facility uses curved metal cladding on the exterior with segmented glazing to match, curved walls that include reveal lines on the inner fascia that match those on the exterior, and a trapezium metal ceiling in public areas with metal acoustic ceiling tiles in offices. A cinema quality sound and projection system was built-in for movie nights and other brand-specific events.

Numerous sustainability and energy conservation initiatives were incorporated, such as change rooms and bike racks for employees, LED light bulbs that reduce the amount of power required to operate the building, and the high-efficiency Heat Recovery Ventilator in the shop to ensure no heated air is wasted. Also, infrastructure for electric car charger stations was built into both the parking lot and the interior of the building.

The landscape area includes a bio-swale that controls any storm water runoff from the site, contains the water and slowly releases it into the storm system, and low Volatile Organic Compound paints and caulking were used to limit the amount of off gassing.

1701 Island Highway

This project is owner-occupied and contains 4,000 sq ft of offices for medical practitioners and a Montessori pre-school on the ground floor. The second floor contains 3,500 sq ft of commercial space.

As part of a larger commercial development at the corner of Wilfert Road and the Old Island Highway, this project responds to the need for additional professional (medical) office space within a short drive of Victoria General Hospital and for more pre-school spaces for the surrounding Western Communities.

Environmental and sustainable initiatives began with the project’s location – an existing empty gravel lot was once used as a depository for unsuitable fill. Once the lot was remediated, sustainability initiatives were incorporated – heating and cooling via high efficiency electric heat pumps and a variable air volume zoned HVAC system. Also, low Volatile Organic Compound paints, adhesives and flooring materials were used on the interior, both in medical offices and in pre-school. Storm water is collected and stored on site where it is treated through vegetated swales and rain gardens prior to release into the municipal drainage system.

The site now has an extensive landscape scheme, while adjacent properties have been stabilized and enhanced as a result of the construction of this project.

35/39 Gorge Road

The Greater Victoria Housing Society and the Greater Victoria Rental Development Society partnered for construction of a 68-unit rental apartment building on the same property as five high end townhomes. A model of a self sustaining business plan, this location has both affordable and market rentals along with a home ownership module.

The four-storey rental building uses a blend of wood and synthetic materials which gives the project a clean, modern look and complements the surrounding neighbourhood and landscape.

The location was chosen in part for its proximity to downtown and access to parks and waterways.

This building is the second partnership for these two agencies; the first was Loreen Place at 40 Gorge Road. Both projects are changing the look of the neighbourhood with an updated approach to affordable and in–demand housing.

Hudson Mews

As the developer’s second of five projects in downtown Victoria’s Hudson district, The Hudson Mews addresses the area’s need for centrally located, purpose-built rental housing with over 120 rental units as well as over 8,000 sq ft of commercial space.

Throughout the design process, the developer utilized local consultants whose insight and knowledge of the city helped shape the look of the contemporary, urban edifice. The building itself consists of 12 storeys of concrete, enveloped on the exterior by classic architectural features which combine the use of vertical columns with granite and red brick cladding to provide a modern take on the area’s historic style and character.

During the course of construction, environmentally friendly wastewater diversion practices were implemented as a means to mitigate any negative environmental impacts. Now complete, the building features an energy efficient, on-demand boiler system, energy efficient common area lighting, and a residential recycling and waste program. On the 5th storey podium level, a green roof was installed and will allow for enhanced rainwater collection and filtration.

443 (Maritime Helicopter) Squadron Facility

This three-year project located at Victoria International Airport is the largest single building on Vancouver Island. The finished structure is 220,000 sq ft of facility, which lands and houses seven helicopters for the 443 (Maritime Helicopter) Squadron branch of the Department of National Defence.

Built to post-disaster standards, the structure stands on a suspended concrete slab over a base of 1200 pilings socketed into the bedrock.

The facility is self-supporting for the helicopters and staff. Amenities include large industrial repair, service and paint shops, as well as offices for the Department of National Defence and flight crews.
Sustainability initiatives include an in-floor radiant heating system that provides energy efficient heat throughout the hangar.

Hotel Zed

The Blue Ridge Inn building, built in the 1960’s, was in need of a full-scale renovation after over 50 years of use. This gave the company’s CEO the opportunity she had been looking for: to create a hotel that breaks the mold – something truly different and something truly fun.

With styling influenced by 1960’s Doo-Wop hotels, Hotel Zed was born and has captured widespread media attention for its innovative, kitschy design.

The old building was ripped back to its structural components and updated with modern materials and a vibrant colour palette inside and out. Glass balconies let the colourful doors and walls shine through to busy Douglas Street, and an indoor-outdoor pool with waterslide was added along with new signage to reflect the hotel’s rebrand.

The building was repurposed, rather than torn down, to make use of the mid-century design and to save tonnes of waste from reaching the landfill. Other environmental initiatives include free bike rentals to encourage green transportation to nearby downtown.

The New England

Originally built in 1892 as a 40-room luxury hotel, this building is a hybrid of Victorian Romanesque architecture and Sullivanesque design.

Originally designed by noted architect John Teague, the value of this
design lies in its narrow verticality, made possible by the early use of
cast iron structural piers. Also prominent in the design is the open
facade, highlighted by the use of arches, bay windows, decorative
columns and a triangular pediment on its cornice. The unique appearance
of this early hotel sets it apart from other historic hotels
in the vicinity.

The commercial area on the ground level offers over 1,400 sq ft of
space, while the remaining 4 stories comprise 22 residential units
with a total area of nearly 6,000 sq ft.

Hillside Mall Redevelopment

This multi-phase renovation, redevelopment and seismic upgrade of Hillside Mall rejuvenated and expanded the existing facility. 

The reinvention of the Hillside Mall began in October 2009 with Phase 1 – a 55,000 sq ft addition. This created space for 30 new tenants and provided a new and upgraded home for existing tenants.

Phase 2 started in May 2011 with a complete renovation and redevelopment of the original 120,000 sq ft shopping centre, which included the addition of skylights over the walkways to make use of natural light.

In October 2012, Phase 3 began and saw the addition of a new 120,000 sq ft Target store to replace the smaller single-storey Zellers space. The completed mall now has over 60 retailers, offers a variety of shops and services and a bright, spacious food court.

Central Saanich Fire Hall No. 1

The new 20,000 sq ft fire station serves as the Fire Department’s headquarters and accommodates both volunteer and career personnel, in addition to operating as the district’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

The station houses 8 trucks (4 tandem drive-through bays) with a deliberate separation between firefighting facilities and the administration areas to allow for decontamination.

Amenities include separate locker and washroom facilities for male and female firefighters, as well as gender neutral dormitories and training rooms.

A conference room was designed to work in conjunction with the EOC as a media or family room.

Solar panels were placed on the roof to help power the facility, and a large-volume rain catch system was incorporated to use in the training and testing of the pumper truck. This project is targeting Silver Certification for LEED.

Be Love and La Taquisa Restaurants

1019 Blanshard Street was constructed in the early 1900’s as a storefront retail building that included alleyway access for wagon deliveries. Over the following century, numerous renovations divided the space into smaller units, which covered over the original character features.

The goal for this renovation was to recreate and reinterpret the original character features and use the building’s newly created Be Love and La Taquisa restaurants to rejuvenate the commercial corner.

Completed in fall 2013, the renovation completely renewed the original 3,000 sq ft building fabric, revitalized the brick exterior, completed seismic upgrading and reinterpreted the storefront using contemporary materials and techniques. Steel frames replaced a heavy timber interior structure, which were re-milled by Be Love for its restaurant bar. The cornice was templated from neighbouring 801 Fort Street to accurately recapture the design elements from the era of its origin.

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Victoria Real Estate Board

3035 Nanaimo Street, Victoria, BC, V8T 4W2
Tel: (250) 385-7766 Fax: (250) 385-8773

Historically speaking

The Commercial Building Awards were started in 1991 by a group of REALTORS® who were concerned that commercial development within the Greater Victoria area was not receiving the recognition it deserved.

The Commercial Building Awards competition is recognized among architects, builders and developers and the real estate community as a prestigious event dedicated to the advancement of excellence in construction and design. Because of its success, the Victoria Commercial Building Awards program is now being emulated by various real estate boards throughout BC and across Canada.

The Commercial Division of the Victoria Real Estate Board is dedicated to advancement in quality developments and to encouraging a better environment within our community and is proud to sponsor this annual competition.