February 13, 2023

Rental towers, grocery store proposed for former Mayfair Lanes site in Saanich

Vancouver developer Townline is proposing three residential towers of 21 to 24 storeys, containing 555 rental units.

Three residential towers of 21 to 24 storeys — containing 555 rental units — are proposed for the former Mayfair Lanes site adjacent to Mayfair shopping centre, along with a Real Canadian Superstore and other commercial outlets.

The 3.38-acre lot on Tolmie Avenue was home to the 10-pin bowling complex for about 40 years before it closed in 2006, after being bought by Loblaw.

Loblaw had the building torn down and there were subsequent plans to build a Real Canadian Superstore there, but the project did not go ahead.

The land has been vacant since.

Stefan Slot, vice-president of development for Vancouver developer Townline, which is working on the project with Loblaw, said an application for a development permit and rezoning from commercial to mixed use was filed in December.

Slot said the company was told by Saanich that the first round of review will be “expedited” because of the focus on rental suites.

“I’m hoping for an expedited process all along the way, because the sooner we as the developer can bring these rental homes to market, the better it is for everyone,” Slot said.

Carol Hamill, president of Mount View Colquitz Community Association, said her group met with Townline and representatives of the Quadra Cedar Hill Community Association after receiving a summary of the proposal from the Saanich planning department.

“In a situation like this where it is in the Saanich core, it is important to get a broader group of people together,” Hamill said. “The project is within our area, however we are a very small community association and we don’t have the resources that [others] have.”

She said the Saanich planning department has requested comment from both associations.

Hamill said the Mount View Colquitz group hasn’t yet taken an official stance on the proposal because members have had only one presentation from Townline so far, but the project “does look like a wonderful place to live” based on the amount of green space and other features.

“The developer has come up with a very nice idea for what they want to accomplish.”

She noted, however, that ­public engagement has yet to happen and there has been no information about potential ­public amenities.

The loss of Mayfair Lanes signalled a lengthy downturn for local bowling spots, with Town and Country Lanes, a five-pin location, being demolished in 2007 in preparation for the building of Uptown.

That left Sidney’s five-pin Miracle Lanes as the region’s lone bowling business until Langford Lanes opened its doors and filled the 10-pin void in 2011.

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