The Anglican diocese of British Columbia is in discussions with the City of Victoria with the aim of preserving the building that houses the St. James Mission of Christ Church Cathedral School, said Peter Daniel, asset manager for the diocese.
The diocese’s plans to sell property in Victoria met with resistance from some people in the community who want to preserve the existing building, which was built as a Sunday school in 1939 and has been used as a pre-school for many years.
In September, Victoria News reported that city councillor Pamela Madoff was opposing the diocese’s application for a demolition permit and that the application was of concern to local groups such as the Hallmark Heritage Society.
“The building is unreinforced masonry and requires seismic upgrade. The costs of upgrades are not justified, given the value of the property,” Daniel told the Anglican Journal in an interview. He added that a new safe site has been found for the pre-school, which is operated by Christ Church Cathedral School.
The property was placed on the heritage registry by the City of Victoria in 1994, he added. “This was done without the knowledge or consent of the diocese.”
The property is currently zoned for two single-family or duplex homes, and the present building straddles these two lots, Daniel explained.
“The City of Victoria has approached the diocese to request consideration of rezoning of the property. This is in order to preserve the existing building with a bonus density for additional residential development,” he said, adding that he could not offer further details while discussions were ongoing.