Saanich – Mount Tolmie Hospital

An illustration of a building, with a large "shelter sign," in the midst of a bustling neighbourhood.


BC Housing and PHS Community Services Society will be opening a temporary shelter with approximately 45 beds for people experiencing homelessness in Mount Tolmie Hospital at 3690 Richmond Road in Saanich.

Mount Tolmie Hospital will provide a safe and secure place to stay for the existing shelter guests of the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre Emergency Response Centre; relocation is required due to the expiration of the current arena lease in mid-June.

Temporary Shelter

Due to the high number of people experiencing homelessness, existing shelters are at or near capacity on a nightly basis. COVID-19 pandemic has put an increased strain on shelters with them having to lower capacity limits. Mount Tolmie Hospital is part of a long-term strategy to create supportive housing in the Capital region. The site will be used as a temporary supported shelter for the next 12 months, while permanent supportive housing in is being developed in the Capital region.

There will be staff on-site 24 hours a day to provide important supports such as life skills training, wellness checks and other health and skills programs. Shelter guests will have access to meal services, storage, and facilities, with staff working with individuals to meet their basic needs and support them in a pathway to permanent supportive housing.

Relocation

Mount Tolmie Hospital will used to support the people currently occupying the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre arena floor. The arena is no longer available to BC Housing as a temporary shelter, as it will be used to host the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament starting June 29.

PHS Community Services Society operate the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre Emergency Response Centre and will continue to work with BC Housing as shelter guests move to Mount Tolmie Hospital. The shelter guests have been successfully located at the arena for many months. This continuity of staffing will minimize disruption to the existing residents, many of whom have been living together for some time without issue and have developed a strong sense of community.

Community Engagement

We understand it is important for you to be informed about the plan for this site. We welcome questions and comments below in the Q&A or by email to: communityrelations@bchousing.org


BC Housing and PHS Community Services Society will be opening a temporary shelter with approximately 45 beds for people experiencing homelessness in Mount Tolmie Hospital at 3690 Richmond Road in Saanich.

Mount Tolmie Hospital will provide a safe and secure place to stay for the existing shelter guests of the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre Emergency Response Centre; relocation is required due to the expiration of the current arena lease in mid-June.

Temporary Shelter

Due to the high number of people experiencing homelessness, existing shelters are at or near capacity on a nightly basis. COVID-19 pandemic has put an increased strain on shelters with them having to lower capacity limits. Mount Tolmie Hospital is part of a long-term strategy to create supportive housing in the Capital region. The site will be used as a temporary supported shelter for the next 12 months, while permanent supportive housing in is being developed in the Capital region.

There will be staff on-site 24 hours a day to provide important supports such as life skills training, wellness checks and other health and skills programs. Shelter guests will have access to meal services, storage, and facilities, with staff working with individuals to meet their basic needs and support them in a pathway to permanent supportive housing.

Relocation

Mount Tolmie Hospital will used to support the people currently occupying the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre arena floor. The arena is no longer available to BC Housing as a temporary shelter, as it will be used to host the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament starting June 29.

PHS Community Services Society operate the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre Emergency Response Centre and will continue to work with BC Housing as shelter guests move to Mount Tolmie Hospital. The shelter guests have been successfully located at the arena for many months. This continuity of staffing will minimize disruption to the existing residents, many of whom have been living together for some time without issue and have developed a strong sense of community.

Community Engagement

We understand it is important for you to be informed about the plan for this site. We welcome questions and comments below in the Q&A or by email to: communityrelations@bchousing.org

Have a question or comment? Please add below.

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  • How can residents in the Mt Tolmie / Gordon Head neighbourhood welcome these new residents - especially at a time when there is some push back and negativity about such relocations (NIMBY). I think it is very appropriate for homeless populations be supported throughout the Capital region. Mt Tolmie seems like a very appropriate location and use of that building. Such a shame that Oak Bay didn’t provide a similar solution when the lodge was no longer being used for seniors.

    Sheila asked 3 months ago

    Hi Sheila.

    Thank you for your support.

    The best way to welcome these residents is to talk with your neighbours about the importance of shelter for everyone. People across the province are struggling to find stable housing in their communities right now, and subsequently struggling to stabilize their lives. 

    People who experience homelessness are as varied as any other neighbour. They may be seniors, people with disabilities, people who have employment but no housing, people who are working through mental health concerns and/or substance use. 

    Individuals who are without homes are often only able to focus on basic survival needs. By sheltering people, we increase the likelihood they will succeed in stabilizing their lives. Once someone is housed, they are able to focus on improving their well-being.

    No one deserves to be homeless, and shelter is a basic human right.

  • Further to the question shown below regarding use of Mount Tolmie Hospital until the end of the year, will there be further negotiation to extend use for this purpose? What are the goals for usage of this building in the future?

    Katherine asked 3 months ago

    The future use of Mount Tolmie Hospital is yet to be determined. Our immediate focus is ensuring people who were previously living in the Save-on-Foods arena have safe, secure and supportive housing for the immediate future. 

    The long-term goal for those living in this temporary shelter is to secure suitable permanent supportive housing in the Capital region, before the end of the year.

    The province recently announced it was creating more than 280 new spaces in the Capital region. Including these supportive homes, B.C. now has more than 3,200 homes either completed or underway in the CRD.

  • I would like to make some muffins to welcome the new Mount Tolmie residents to the neighbourhood if that would be acceptable. If so, please let me know how many people will be moving in on Monday.

    Deborah asked 4 months ago

    Hi Deborah, 

    What an incredibly kind gesture—thank you for interest in welcoming the new residents. Feeling part of the community is important to creating success for the residents and the neighbourhood. 

    We are anticipating about 20 shelter guests will be moving into the site over the coming few days, and there will be a rotating staff of about 5-7 people.

  • Hello, I am wondering if we can welcome our new neighbors by adding this to Saanich's OCP. If we are serious about housing vulnerable people in our neighborhood then we need to offer local supports in the immediate area via the Official Community Plan.

    Paul asked 4 months ago

    That’s a great suggestion and we will pass it along.

  • Are any of the residents being moved to the Tolmie site active intravenous drug users? If so, will BC housing be providing sharp disposal and safe injection sites to prevent used needles from ending up in the community?

    Graeme asked 4 months ago

    Residents may make personal choices regarding their consumption habits.  

    BC Housing follows the widely recognized and proven Housing First model. A harm reduction approach means staff are available to support any residents who are in various phases of substance use.  

    In order to help people who use substances, we need to first give them a safe and secure place to sleep, food to eat, and access to services so that they can move forward with their lives.

    There will be space for other service providers, like Island Heath, MSDPR, etc. to come in and provide services, and also harm reduction supplies and support within the shelter.  

    Both staff and guests would be committed to keeping the direct area surrounding the property maintained, just as any other responsible neighbour.

  • Have any of the residents moving to the Tolmie site been convicted of violent crime(s) or property offenses?

    Graeme asked 4 months ago

    We believe everyone deserves safe, secure housing, and while we do not discriminate against people based on their past experiences with the criminal justice system, we have no tolerance for acts of violence either by or against residents living in supportive housing.

  • Will any modifications to the grounds be made to redirect people from short-cutting through the adjacent carpark for residents living at 1680 Poplar Avenue? There is presently a paved laneway which connects the 1680 Poplar carpark to Melfort Lane. It is congested (confined, narrow) laneway and frequently sees two-way vehicular traffic. For improved safety, perhaps this laneway should be fenced to limit the potential of car and pedestrian interaction. Residents of 1680 Poplar Avenue have a very viable principle entrance to their car park fully accessible from Poplar Avenue.

    BrentZeitz asked 4 months ago

    Please direct any questions about the roads around the building to the District of Saanich Engineering Department.


  • Will homeowners in the immediate area qualify for a reduction in their property taxes?

    David James asked 4 months ago

    BC Housing does not have a say in municipal taxation rates. However, research has found that property values in the immediate area surrounding supportive housing or shelter sites typically either mirrored or surpassed similar housing in the surrounding municipalities. This suggests the introduction of non-market housing, such as supportive or affordable rental housing, does not affect residential property values.

  • When will more permanent housing be available in Victoria because I am currently staying at Muncy Place and I have never experienced more aggressive and harsh homeless people in my life to the point where I contimplate leaving on a daily basis and some of the staff are to motivated to do anything to help out either talk about patronizing and condescending

    pcpartsjunky@gmail.com asked 4 months ago

    We know there is an urgent need for more permanent affordable housing in the region. That’s why BC Housing is working on hundreds of supportive housing projects in the Capital region.

    Please contact Applicant Services at 1-800-257-7756 (toll-free) to discuss a housing application.

  • Will policing be increased in the area?

    LocalResident995 asked 4 months ago

    BC Housing does not have a say in how police resources are allocated. We recommend you reach out to the Saanich Police for more information.

Page last updated: 18 August 2021, 15:22