English Inn general manager Jay Smith is opening the doors during renovations for the community to see the progress of Aragon Properties’ redevelopment of the Esquimalt landmark. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

English Inn offers public tours of Esquimalt redevelopment

General manager wants to clear up miscommunications and gather community input

With renovation at the English Inn well on its way in Esquimalt, the general manager is inviting curious minds to come view the progress, providing free daily tours of the project.

Each weekday from 4 to 5 p.m. visitors can find Jay Smith wearing a hard hat and armed with a flashlight, touring the public through the heritage property, which is being redeveloped by Aragon Properties. Smith said he kept hearing the same refrain from neighbours: “we just don’t feel we had enough input, we don’t know exactly what’s going on.”

“So I thought – why not just show them?” he said. “I’m getting a lot of feedback, which is great.”

The tight-knit community of Esquimalt has been active in the development process, providing input at council meetings and protesting the use of adjacent Hither Green park for an emergency access route.

“I get it,” Smith said. “We want to be good neighbours. This is a great community and we want to be a part of it.”

Aragon’s plans for the property include renovating the existing main building, built in 1906, expanding the basement to accommodate weddings and other events, and constructing 180 condominium units. An additional building with 14 more hotel rooms and a spa are also in the works.

But, go see for yourself. The tours take groups of six through each floor of the main building, detailing the history and offering a glimpse into the future.

“We want to be a quality project and we want to be a community hotel,” Smith explained. “For us, it’s all about legacy, environment and community.”

Smith plans to run the tours until Dec. 5, with plans for more as the project continues. If you’re interested in seeing the process from the inside out, RSVP to jsmith@englishinn.ca.

For those wishing to offer input on the project, council will hear a variance request at its Nov. 27 meeting, starting at 7 p.m. at the municipal hall.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore Pickleball Association serves up idea for View Royal tennis court

‘We don’t have a place to call home’, says avid pickleball member

VIDEO: Saanich family competes on first season of ‘Family Feud Canada’

Charania family will face off against the Torres family from Hamilton, Ont.

Oak Bay confirms first heritage conservation area

Heritage bylaw for The Prospect neighbourhood in final phase

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

West Shore RCMP seek man wanted on four counts of breaching court conditions

Christopher Elliott, 28, described as Caucasian with black hair, brown eyes

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Nanaimo man hit with pole in dispute over off-leash dog

RCMP say no charges recommended at this time

Was there a tornado on Vancouver Island Monday?

Suspected phone app glitch gives eerie warning

Work has started on Malahat Skywalk, expected completion in 2021

$15-million project expected to open in spring, 2021

POLL: Are you concerned about the coronavirus?

The coronavirus which has sparked concern around the globe has now arrived… Continue reading

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

Most Read