By Laura Keil

The official “breaking ground” ceremony for the new 18-unit seniors housing complex on Ash Street took
place on June 28th to the din of construction already underway.

Construction began in May and is scheduled to be completed next summer.

At the ceremony, members of the Valemount Seniors Citizens Housing Society stood sentinel while a large Cat dug a hole adjacent to the construction site.

“Everyone here has played an instrumental role in making this project come to this exciting stage,” said Society President Donnie MacLean. “We know how important community is regardless of age, and we know feeling connected to the community has a remarkable effect on people’s lives. These affordable homes will provide an opportunity for seniors of limited income to stay close to friends, family and community.”

Located at 1101 Ash St., the single-level building will include 16 one-bedroom units and two two-bedroom homes. Each unit will have direct access to a private outdoor garden patio space. Rental supports will include subsidies, rents geared to income, and affordable market rentals.

Mayor Owen Torgerson said the new seniors housing will offer local seniors a nurturing community

“This project offers our more experienced adults a range of amenities, support services and opportunities
which enable them to maintain independence, thrive and enjoy a fulfilling lifestyle in their golden years.”

The Village of Valemount donated land, waived development cost charges, and paid for the sewer line
and lift station needed for this project.

“We are investing in those who invested in us during their working years,” Torgerson said.

The construction lead on the project said local suppliers and contractors are involved in the building.

“We’re not just coming in and building something and leaving. The community’s helping to build the housing.”

Board member Tom Jamin said due to supply chain issues, the electric work in the building may not be
completed by the time the rest of the building is, as there’s a long wait to receive the main electricity panel.

“It’s a 60-week delivery on those,” he said. “So the building will be without power when it’s completed.”

Despite the delay, the new facility is expected to open its doors to residents sometime next summer.

$3.2 million in funding towards the project came from provincial coffers, $2 million of that through B.C.
Housing. Other partners included the Columbia Basin Trust with $755,000, including $385,000 to cover the
installation of solar panels, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities with a $175,000 contribution for a
study grant, $100,000 in funding from the Valemount Community Forest and equity totalling $83,000 from the senior’s housing society, CN, and Four Rivers Co-op.

Rendering of the final building located next to Valemount Secondary on Ash St.