Baptist Housing proposes 5-story Oak Bay Lodge replacement

Baptist Housing, owner of many senior’s facilities in British Columbia — including Shannon Oaks in Oak Bay — came to Oak Bay Council with a five story Oak Bay Lodge replacement, tentatively named Garry Oaks. The 320-bed facility would be a mixture of dementia care and long-term residential living, removing any independent living that currently exists at Oak Bay Lodge. Given that Shannon Oaks, Baptist Housing’s independent living facility just up the street, isn’t full yet, this isn’t shocking, but it is disappointing.

However, it appears that the threat of the land being sold has passed, as the land is being transferred from VIHA to the Capital Regional Health District, owners of the existing land at RJH and VGH. It isn’t clear yet what will happen with the Mount Tolmie land and buildings, as this is a linked development, designed to replace both Oak Bay Lodge, Mount Tolmie and the Bapist Housing-owned Mount Edwards Court.

Happily for the any future residents, the new facility will keep full on-site food preparation and laundry. Patrick Cotter, the architect, had this to say on the topic of food:

The new building will have a full central kitchen on-site that will provide lunch and dinner service, this will be augmented with a complete kitchen in each of the 16 resident houses that will provide food preparation for individual breakfast service throughout the morning; will provide individual service of lunch and dinner within the resident houses; and snacks and drinks throughout the remainder of the day.

The deal gets more complicated, however, when you consider yet another moving piece: Baptist Housing’s Mount View Heights, a contentious development on the old Mount View School Grounds on Carey Road. Cotter Architects is also designing the 260-bed facility there, which VIHA is somehow combining with the new Oak Bay Lodge/Garry Oaks development to trumpet their “increase in beds”

So much remains murky, including whether or not this building, in this size will get past Oak Bay Council. Cotter claimed that reducing it in size would reduce its effectiveness (ie: profit), as it is designed around 20-unit “neighbourhoods”. Stay tuned for more.