February 16, 2023

Hundreds of rental units proposed at former Mayfair Lanes bowling alley site in Saanich

A former bowling alley site in Saanich, B.C. could soon be transformed into hundreds of rental units and a large grocery store, if a Vancouver-based developer has its way.

The 3.38-acre site located on 760 Tolmie Ave. was the former home of the Mayfair Lanes bowling alley, which was demolished in 2006.

Now, developer Townline has proposed a mixed commercial-residential project at the site.

The proposal includes three residential towers, between 21 and 24 storeys tall, containing 555 purpose-built rental units.

There would also be a Real Canadian Superstore on the ground floor of the property.

Saanich Mayor Dean Murdoch says a development like this could help turn the Uptown and Mayfair area into a downtown zone for the municipality.

“For people who are working in the community, this would be an ideal place for them to find a new home,” said Murdoch.

“It’s an area where we would expect to have taller buildings, where we would put more people close to services,” he said.

Neil Parwar, manager of Leon’s Furniture in Saanich, says he thinks an influx of people would revitalize businesses in the area.

“Restaurants, even the mall – you know, we can see how many empty stores there are – and this is just going to help fill the stores,” he said.

The proposal hasn’t been approved yet and Townline says it doesn’t know when shovels could be in the ground.

But, the developer says the municipality has told it that the initial approval phase could move swiftly since the plan involves rental units.

At the very least, Murdoch says it likely comes as “a relief” to the community to see something happening at the former bowling alley site, which has sat vacant for 15 years.

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