The unexpected closure of a Langford apartment tower has left a preschool empty and its young students without a place to play, as the city conducts a safety assessment on the building.
Our Lady of the Rosary Preschool, located in RidgeView Place, formerly known as Danbrook One, was shut down last week after the City of Langford informed the church operating the preschool of safety concerns regarding the building.
Operator Maureen McNeil said they had little choice but to comply with Langford’s request to close while an assessment was conducted on the tower.
“I was told that they would have an assessment. We had to close on Thursday and Friday because they needed to do an assessment in case the building either falls into itself, or it would fall over,” she told CHEK News on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, construction at the nearby Royal Roads site has been put on hold for a week to ensure the safety of all workers, as a portion of the site falls within Ridgeview Place’s perimeter.
The daycare, church office and the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Shop also remain closed.
Tenants have been left reeling and searching for a new place to stay in the wake of the City of Langford’s decision to pull the occupancy permit of the tower over the structural safety concerns.
- April 25: Displaced Langford high-rise residents frustrated over lack of answers, support: ‘We deserve to live there’
- April 26: Who should cover emergency costs for Langford’s RidgeView Place tenants?
- April 27: RidgeView Place tenants insurance deny claims; Centurion offers additional funds
- April 27: ‘I am asking you to please leave’: Langford mayor provides update on RidgeView Place
- April 28: Ridgeview Place tenant worries about financial help that has yet to arrive
- May 2: Langford matching donations up to $75,000 for RidgeView Place tenants
Dennis MacDonald, who resides in the building with his daughter and grandson, has temporarily moved into the Westin Hotel on Bear Mountain, thanks to emergency funding.
“It’s been the longest, the most difficult, and the absolutely saddest week of my life,” he said.
With a new home lined up, MacDonald is struggling to cover the costs of moving and the first month’s rent, and bills are already piling up.
“For expenses, we had to put up $2900 a damage deposit, and $2900 for the first month’s rent,” MacDonald said.
Most of his family’s belongings are still in their apartment, but MacDonald said building owner Centurion Property Associates is refusing to pay any moving expenses.
However, a glimmer of hope emerged for financially strapped tenants on Tuesday when the City of Langford announced its commitment to match donations up to $75,000 for the displaced residents of the tower.
Contributions will be accepted via an online platform on the Greater Victoria Community Social Planning Council’s website, and details for RidgeView Place residents on how to apply for financial assistance will be revealed shortly.
There has been no update on the assessment’s results or when the preschool and other affected areas will be allowed to reopen, or when tenants will be able to return.