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Youngest resident fits right in at Nigel House

Luka Garvin is thankful that a bigger, better Nigel House is being built and feels lucky it will be there in the future — “especially given the housing crisis that’s going on right now.”
VICTORIA, B.C.: NOVEMBER 8, 2023- Luka Garvin, 25, at Nigel House. She is the latest person in our series about Nigel House in Victoria B.C. November 8, 2023. (DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST). For City story by Jeff Bell.

At 25, Luka Garvin is the youngest resident at Nigel House, a unique facility in Saanich that provides a home-like setting for those needing complex care.

She uses a wheelchair because her cerebral palsy limits her mobility, but is able to get out and about and is a frequent visitor to the Victoria Disability Resource Centre.

“I’ve been doing the most physical therapy I’ve done in 20 years there,” Garvin said.

Getting to know the other residents during her five months at the Broadmead Care Society complex has been a wonderful experience, she said. There are 26 residents of various ages, the oldest being 74.

“It’s quite lovely here,” Garvin said. “There’s loads of community and they interact with each other.”

The staff adds to the special atmosphere, she said. “They always try to make you feel safe and warm and cared for.”

Garvin said she appreciates what Nigel House gives her and the support from the wider community that keeps it going.

She wishes the same good fortune for others.

“Nobody’s living a full life unless we all are,” Garvin said.

She is thankful that a bigger, better Nigel House is being built next to the existing building, and feels lucky it will be there in the future “especially given the housing crisis that’s going on right now.”

The new Nigel House will be six storeys rather than the current two and will accommodate 41 people needing the type of care it provides. There will also be 37 assisted-living units and 10 affordable-housing units.

The Broadmead Care Society is projecting residents will be able to move in by April 2025. 

Along with the larger building there will be plenty of new equipment to benefit residents. In Garvin’s case, the addition of overhead lifts will make it easier to transfer from her wheelchair to her bed.

There will also be bigger elevators and bathrooms, as well as wider hallways, to improve the surroundings for wheelchair users like her.

Garvin wanted to share her story and her gratitude for the care she receives to help support ongoing fundraising efforts for the Nigel House project.

“I’m more than happy to talk about it,” she said.

She did so with openness and low-key humour.

“My closest friends would describe me as sardonic,” Garvin said. “But I would say I have a pretty positive outlook overall.”

Favourite activities include writing — poetry, articles and more — and she started on a writing degree at the University of Victoria by taking online courses during COVID.

“I took a couple of years off because I had back surgery and there were complications,” she said. “But hopefully I’ll get back to it sooner rather than later.”

Garvin said on any given day you might also find her sitting outside, watching the birds and “pondering the universe.”

The previous $3-million New Home for Nigel House campaign has already reached its goal. Another $1.4 million is now being raised for the equipment, furnishings and other components that will complete the new surroundings.

For more information or to donate, go to

[email protected]