A handful of residents have gathered outside of the St. Andrew’s Lodge in Qualicum Beach on Monday morning in hopes they can stop its scheduled demolition.
The historic lodge has been part of Qualicum Beach’s waterfront since 1933 and some residents don’t want to see it go.
“Qualicum Beach has always been a lovely destination for a summer vacation and this is all that is left of what it was. You know, most of the great old places are gone,” said Shirley Culpin, whose mother was a founding member of the Qualicum Beach Historical Society.
In 2018, the Town of Qualicum Beach bought the lodge and waterfront land for $3.4 million.
But the lodge needs an estimated $545,000 worth of repairs and upgrades, although that number could be higher as the estimate excludes a number of other related costs.
As a result, the town has opted to demolish the building for an estimated $40,000 and has issued a contract for its removal.
Demolition of the lodge was scheduled to begin this morning, however, protestors have established themselves outside the building with the intention of stopping crews from tearing it down.
“We’re working very very very hard to try and save this building. It’s an iconic piece of Qualicum beach history,” added Culpin.
Ken Tanguay, an architect and resident of the town, also wants to see the lodge saved, calling it a diamond in the rough.
“We could turn it into a place like the Filberg in Comox. It would be a jewel in our crown of things we have in this community but to lose something so great and we have the ability to save it,” he said.
According to former councillor, Anne Skipsey, the town bought the lodge and property back in 2018 with the idea that purchasing the lodge would save it from demolition.
The mayor of Qualicum Beach nor the councillors who voted in favour of the lodge’s demolition responded to CHEK’s interview request at this time.