The St. Andrew’s Lodge has been part of Qualicum Beach’s waterfront since 1933.
Located along Island Highway, it is one of the original Tudor lodges – hosting tourists each summer.
“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.
In an email Mayor Brian Wiese said quotes to bring the lodge up to code came in at an estimated $625,000.
“We certainly understand the emotion around this issue however the Town did follow an exhaustive process prior to making this difficult decision,” said Wiese.
The town has opted to demolish the building for an estimated $40,000 and has issued a contract for its removal.
Demolition is expected to begin Monday, but a number of people in the Qualicum Beach area say they’re going to block crews from tearing down the historic lodge.
“We’re working very very very hard to try and save this building. It’s an iconic piece of Qualicum beach history,” said Culpin, whose family has a 49-year history with the lodge and is among those who want it saved.
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.
Tanguay said with a little creativity and thinking, the building could be saved.
“It just takes thought and understanding of what we could do with this building,” he said. “There are many options, many ideas. We could have Bard on the Beach [festival] down here. We could have craft fairs. We could have all kinds of stuff.”
Former councillor Anne Skipsey was on council when the town bought the lodge and property. She said the idea was that purchasing the lodge would save it from demolition.
“There was general consensus that the lodge should be preserved and I think a lot of us let out this sigh of relief that now the lodge had been protected for the rest of the town’s history,” said Skipsey who speaks on behalf of Save The Lodge.