On the Street: Northern Junk developer to host open house on future plans

Reliance Properties will be hosting a public information open house for the redevelopment of its Northern Junk site and heritage warehouses built in the 1860s. The revised proposal calls for 47 homes with commercial space at the base, along with adaptive reuse of the historic warehouses.

The open house is being held Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 7 pm., with a brief presentation by the developer at 5:30 p.m., at 1607 Douglas St., across from city hall.

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Reliance recently won three awards for its redevelopment of the historic Janion building, including the Hallmark Heritage Society’s Michael Williams Award for rehabilitation and Heritage B.C.’s Honour Award in Heritage Conservation. In addition, the Urban Development Institute awarded the Janion the Best of Vancouver Island 2018 Award of Excellence.

“As we embark on our latest project at an historic site, this hattrick for the Janion validates our contribution to heritage restoration in Victoria,” said Jon Stovell, president and CEO of Reliance Properties.

The Janion was built in 1891 as a hotel at CP Rail’s final stop. It closed in the late 1800s, after which it was an industrial site used by an ice manufacturer and scrap metal company. It had been boarded up in recent decades. Reliance bought the Janion nine years ago, restoring the heritage building to 122 micro-lofts and ground-floor retail, and added a new addition to the building, which also has retail at the base.

Reliance’s finished heritage projects in Victoria also include 1244 Wharf Street, the Board of Trade Building and the Fairfield Block.

Beeswax company Abeego pays its staff living wage

Victoria-based Abeego, which manufactures beeswax wraps to protect food, has now committed to paying its nearly 20 staff a minimum of $20.50 per hour.

“I’ve been dreaming of this day,” said founder Toni Desrosiers. “In terms of sustainability, our staff is our No. 1 resource. This is an investment that supports our people, our company, our community and our values."

The move brings Abeego in line with Living Wage Canada’s assertion that $20.50 an hour is the wage that two working parents with two young children must earn to meet basic expenses (including rent, child care, food and transportation), once government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies have been taken into account.

The minimum wage in B.C. is $12.65 per hour

Greater Victoria crowdsource firm adds key executive

Tutela Technologies Ltd., a Canadian crowdsourced mobile data company with headquarters in Victoria, has appointed Erik Tarnvik to its executive team.

Tarnvik is a respected industry veteran, previously holding positions as chief technology officer of the network testing division at Ascom, and VP of data management and analytics at Akinnovate. The hire reflects Tutela’s growth, as well as the increasing industry importance of crowdsourcing.

Tutela collects network performance and usage data from more than 250 million mobile devices across the globe from software running in the background of more than 3,000 popular mobile applications. The data is held on a cloud-based database and analytics platform. Insights include comparisons of mobile carriers, mobile usage trends, comparisons of mobile device types as well as detailed technical network performance statistics and network planning.

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