In 2015 Oak Bay Council turned down an application by the Vancouver Island Health Authority to build a six-story 320-bed regional hospital on the current site of the Oak Bay Lodge. It was felt the hospital was unsuitable for the location and would have a disproportionate impact on the neighbours and there was no guarantee that the facility would be for any Oak Bay resident needing the service, given the regional nature of the facility.
Subsequently, the renamed Island Health (IH) partnered with the Capital Regional Health District (CRHD) and is building a 320-bed hospital on the site of the old Blanshard School at Hillside and Blanshard called The Summit.
The Summit is expected to be completed in late 2019. At that point IH will transfer residents of the Oak Bay Lodge to The Summit, most likely in early 2020.
Once the transfer is complete the Lodge property will be legally transferred to the CRHD pursuant to an agreement that the site be used for the public good.
The Lodge will be torn down as it is not suitable for being re-purposed.
It is intention of the CRHD to conduct a public engagement process before it decides on the future of the property. The CRHD’s public engagement is expected to begin in mid-2019.
I will propose that Council conduct its own Oak Bay-based public process in advance of any decision by the CRHD on the future of the site. An Oak Bay-based process should commence and be completed before the CRHD process, expected to begin in mid-2019. The aim of an earlier Oak Bay-based process will be to develop desirable options for the property that best serve seniors in Oak Bay and the surrounding communities.