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January 12, 2018

In mid December, 2017, the 388 Machleary St. working group was invited to meet with key people from the Molnar Group and City of Nanaimo planning staff to discuss NOCA’s letter of November 8, 2017 to the Molnar Group.

The Molnar Group stated their intention to hold a second community meeting (expected in February 2018) to present more detailed proposals incorporating aspects of NOCA’s feedback to their original proposal (which Molnar shared with the neighbourhood at their “Community Talk/Preliminary Proposal”on October 17, 2017). Old City residents can anticipate receiving notification of the meeting by mail from the Molnar Group.

NOCA intends to canvas neighbourhood feedback by holding our own community meeting, details of which will be posted on our website and shared with residents via door to door leaflet distribution.We encourage your involvement and input in this important community issue! Stay tuned!!

December 3, 2017

Members of the association met with city planning staff at the end of November.  We shared our comments about the proposal by The Molnar Group for development of the site at 388 Machleary St.  NOCA will appear as a delegation at a City Council  meeting on Monday, December 11.  President Joy Adams Bauer will highlight some of our findings from the community visioning workshop held in May 2017. In the weeks and months ahead, we look forward to continued discussions with city staff, elected officials, old city residents, any developers who come forward. You can view the information we shared with city planning staff on the link below.

NOCASlidesNov30_2017

November 13, 2017

On November 8, 2017, NOCA wrote to The Molnar Group outlining the association’s feedback to the October 17, 2017 “Community Talk/Preliminary Proposal” hosted by The Molnar Group regarding 388 Machleary Street (the site of the old Nanaimo Hospital/former Malaspina Gardens Seniors Residence).

The letter outlines views, comments and concerns about the proposed development as outlined by The Molnar Group at the October 17, 2017 meeting.  NOCA looks forward to continued engagement with The Molnar Group and the City of Nanaimo with the goal of achieving an outcome that considers the concerns of local residents and the integrity of the Old City.

Read the letter at the following link — LetterToMolnar388 MachlearyNov8_2017.

October 31, 2017

At our AGM on October 16, 2017, seven members of the association were elected to serve on the Board of Directors.  Thank you for your leadership and for supporting your old city community, a place we all love to call home. Your Board for the coming year is:

  • Joy Adams Bauer, President
  • Ian Knipe, Vice-President
  • Barbara Schreiber, Treasurer
  • Janet Wright, Secretary
  • Ian Easton, Eve Reinarz, Todd Trimble, Directors

October 17, 2017

Join us for a series of “feel good movies” at St. Andrews Church Hall (enter off Wesley Street).

Friday, February 16, 2018 – The Big Fish
Friday, March 16 – Coco
Friday, April 27 – Breathe
Friday, May 25 – Victoria and Abdul

Friday Night Feel Good Movies are supported by the Nanaimo Old City Association (NOCA).  Thank you to St. Andrews Church and Debbie Marshall for the use of their space, and Mark Tuit for the use of his sound system. Donations towards the hall and purchase of the movies are gratefully accepted!

October 10, 2017

The Molnar Group recently held its first community meeting (on October 17, 2017) to build on the community workshop report released by NOCA (in July 2017) about the site at 388 Machleary Street (the location of the former Malaspina Gardens Care Home and the old Nanaimo hospital).

The Molnar Group invited residents of the old city to hear, see and comment on the Molnar Group’s preliminary proposal for the site.

October 6, 2017

Demolition of the buildings at the former Malaspina Gardens property are well underway by Clearview Demolition Ltd. of Surrey, BC following presentation of a demolition permit application to City Council in August.  The NOCA Board, through a working group that includes non-board members of the association, continues its involvement in representing the neighbourhood in the future of this property.  Contact information for the demolition is posted on the project gates on Machleary Street, and contact with Clearview’s Project Manager for the site has been made.

Demolition is being undertaken in two phases:  (1) the newer (1992) addition – now completed, and (2) the original (1925) building.  Workplace BC is fully aware of the project and work procedures, and Clearview is adhering to the City’s noise bylaw regulations with respect to allowable days and hours for demolition activity.  A security guard is on site through the night.

An environmental assessment by Envirochem Environmental found non-friable (i.e. does not become airborne) asbestos in the original building, mainly in the flooring and some in the drywall.  Currently this being removed (completion expected by 3rd week in October).  Removal procedures include sealing areas inside the building where asbestos is to be removed, workers wear protective clothing, use of hepa filters, double-bagging asbestos materials, and testing areas for fibres after asbestos removal.  Demolition of the original building is expected to be completed before Christmas.

On request by NOCA to Chartwell Retirement Residences, the following features of the original building at the former front entrance on Kennedy Street will be saved:

  • the metal doorway pediment
  • the gateposts and stairway
  • the cornerstone near the front entrance

Once a new property owner is confirmed, NOCA will continue its initiatives to represent the neighbourhood in the property development process.

July 11, 2017

In spring of 2017, the Nanaimo Old City Association (NOCA) held workshops about the future of the Malaspina Gardens seniors home site when its owner and operator Chartwell moved residents to a new facility.  These workshops looked at the history, heritage values and possible future redevelopment issues for the site.  Approximately 60 participants completed a survey workbook on their opinions of issues and opportunities.

Executive summary of the results

  • Respect for the heritage values of the site is very important, but that does not mean that the old building needs to be saved, as there is widespread understanding that saving the building will be challenging and expensive.  Other options can include saving part of the building, saving and reusing artifacts or materials from the building, or providing interpretive information about the site.
  • While there is a community plan in place (OCP / Neighbourhood plan) and some feel strongly that it should be followed, others are open to changes in the residential uses on the site and even the inclusion of other local, low-impacts uses that would benefit the neighbourhood.  Other housing types that could be supported besides seniors housing include single family, town/row houses, condominiums.  There is also some interest in a daycare, café, yoga studio and others.
  • The architectural style of any new development was explored and the community gave nearly unanimous support for heritage inspired building designs.  There was some support for modern Westcoast styles as well but little support for minimal urban modernism.
  • New development needs to maintain a single family friendly face to the streets around the site, including approximately two-three story street walls with setbacks similar to the homes along the streets now.  The massing should be varied and not present an large block unvaried wall to the street.
  • There is some support for buildings up to six storeys but only if the design is excellent and if view corridors to the harbour are maintained from Machleary Street.
  • Landscape design should support native species and bird/butterfly habitat.  The older existing trees and some shrubs should be preserved wherever possible.  Street furnishings including benches, garbage cans, and nice lighting would be appreciated.
  • Parking should be located on the site, underground wherever possible, as there is significant concern about negative parking impacts from new development.
  • The community is interested in any new development providing new amenities to the community including some affordable housing, a community meeting or gallery/yoga space, some public open space and public art.  The adjacent park offers playground and community garden space so these are seen as less important for the site.
  • The primary concerns residents have include the site becomes derelict and a crime magnet. New development needs to clearly respect and reflect the historic nature of the neighbourhood.  There is fear of large high rises changing the character of the area and erasing the heritage values of the site.
  • The character of the neighbourhood is seen as quiet, heritage, arts and crafts homes, mature green space and a strong sense of community.

View the entire “Report on the Outcomes of the Community Workshop on the Future of the Malaspina Gardens Site”.MalaspinaGardensFinalReportJuly4_2017

May 29, 2017

The Malaspina Gardens working group held a very successful community meeting on May 15, 2017. Approximately 50 – 60 people attended. Mark Holland (professional community planner and old city resident) and Chris Sholberg (City of Nanaimo Heritage Planner and NOCA liaison) gave very informative presentations. Participants completed a workbook which gave them the opportunity to state their preferences regarding any development possibilities for the site of the old hospital. The working group will be collating the input from the workbook in the coming weeks. Once collated, the information will be posted on our website. Stay tuned!

May 2, 2017

The Nanaimo Old City Association is holding a visioning workshop to seek community input on the Malaspina Gardens property (388 Machleary Street). Residents of the Old City and the general public are invited to attend and learn more about the potential redevelopment of the historic site.

Your input will be sought on a range of topics, including:  re-zoning, development, and heritage. The format will feature brief presentations and round table discussions. The workshop will be facilitated by Mark Holland, urban planner and resident of the Old City Neighbourhood, and Chris Sholberg, Culture and Heritage Planner for the City of Nanaimo.

Join us on Monday, May 15 from 7 pm to 9 pm at St. Peter’s Catholic Church Hall, 301 Machleary Street.  For more information contact Ian Knipe, President of NOCA at 250-753-5527, or email lank@shaw.ca

April 8, 2017

A number of issues were raised at the March 5, 2017 neighbourhood meeting about the future of the Malaspina Gardens property (388 Machleary St.).  Those issues are summarized in the document below.

MalaspinaPublicMtgWebUpdateMarch_2017

March 26, 2017

Over 70 people attended the Nanaimo Old City Association’s (NOCA) neighbourhood meeting on Sunday, March 5 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church Hall regarding the future of the property at 388 Machleary St., known as Malaspina Gardens Senior’s Residence.

Here’s a link to an article in the Nanaimo News Bulletin about Malaspina Gardens, published on March 23, 2017.

The meeting was planned and organized by a small ‘working group’ consisting of 2 NOCA board members (Ian Knipe, Janet Wright), 3 members of the association (Barb Coady, Paulette McCarthy, Todd Trimble), and Chris Sholberg, Planner with the City of Nanaimo’s Heritage and Culture Department.

Context:  A new facility to replace Malaspina Gardens is being built in South Nanaimo, with an expected opening in Spring 2017.  The owner and operator, Chartwell Retirement Residences, has publicized its intention to sell the property.

The meeting’s agenda featured (1) a summary of NOCA’s communication with Chartwell, (2) a presentation by Chris outlining the history and heritage value of the Old Hospital part of the property, possible redevelopment scenarios, and information about incentives offered by the City for preservation of heritage properties, and (3) a question and answer period.  Also on hand to answer pertinent questions was Rod Davidson, Manager of Bylaw Regulation and Security for the City of Nanaimo.

Now what?  Continue to follow NOCA’s website (oldcitynanaimo.com) for periodic updates by the working group on activities and/or developments on this property.  Issues raised in the meeting will be publicized on the website as soon as they are compiled.  NOCA members who may wish to participate in the working group, or otherwise become involved, are invited to contact either Ian Knipe iank@shaw.ca or Janet Wright jaydubya@shaw.ca.

MalaspinaMtg2Mar_2017 MalaspinaMtgMar_2017

February 21, 2017

Press Release for Immediate Release

The Nanaimo Old City Association will be holding an information meeting to discuss the future of Malaspina Gardens property located at 388 Machleary Street in Nanaimo.

This significant one hundred and thirty-eight year old property was once the home of the Nanaimo General Hospital and Malaspina College. The historical three acre property is on the City of Nanaimo Heritage Register but now the future of the property is uncertain. The neighbourhood and general public are invited to attend and learn more about the fate of this property and historic building.

The information meeting will be held from 1pm to 3pm at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, 301 Fitzwilliam Street, Sunday March 5th. For more information contact Ian Knipe 250-753-5527, President of NOCA or email lank@shaw.ca. Light refreshments will be served.