Once it’s complete, the $250 million Nigel Valley development will transform Saanich right beside the municipal hall and will increase the number of housing units operated by BC Housing.  from 186 to 800.

The development will be located between Vernon and Darwin Avenues, the Lochside Trail and Saanich Road. It will include a five-storey building and a 16-storey building.

According to Mitchell Temkin, president of the Garth Homer Society, which provides services for adults with developmental disabilities, the development is a tremendous opportunity.

“It’s the creation of a substantial new opportunity for housing, and choices in housing for those who choose to live in this kind of environment,” Temkin said.

The society will build 22 units for its clients.

Twenty-two-year-old Cody Tsatsanis hopes to be living in one of the apartments with a friend.

“I’m going to be living in Nigel Valley with my friends. And moving here, to Nigel Valley,” Tsatsanis said.

Part of the project includes a 255-unit market housing that will subsidize residential care units so they remain affordable for residents like Cody.   His mother, Valerie Tsatsanis Mains, said there are too few affordable, sustainable and appropriate places for the special needs community.  But she is happy that Saanich councillors voted unanimously in favour of the project.

“I was really grateful, and happy that they could see the vision,” Tsatsanis Mains said. “That is going to be able to provide Cody with the best possible life that he can have.”

The massive project requires the demolition of aging buildings and relocating residents. The project will take about five to seven years.

Mary Griffin