With just 28 days to develop a plan, fans of Turner building rally to support family

Fans of the Turner building on the corner of Richmond Road near the Royal Jubilee Hospital are hoping to help the family that owns the property save it from demolition.

On Friday, supporters set up a Facebook page dedicated to rallying supporters to come up with ideas and money to rehabilitate the landmark building that has fallen into such disrepair that a health and safety inspection called for its demolition.

article continues below

Victoria council voted Thursday night to give the Turner family 28 days to file either a demolition permit application or a plan for redevelopment. Because of safety concerns, staff had recommended the owners be given only 14 days to comply with a demolition order, not the usual 30 days.

“Some would describe this as a ‘faint-hope’ clause,” Coun. Chris Coleman said. “If you went with 14 days, you would really be saying, ‘It needs to be demolished now.’ ”

If the city demolishes the property, the owners will foot the bill, Coleman said.

The long and narrow two-storey building was built in the 1940s and for decades was home to Ian’s Jubilee Coffee Shop. It has been vacant for years, and has been eyed for restoration by various people, including a group on Facebook that calls itself Ian’s Jubilee Coffee Shop Fanclub.

In September, a 3.7-metre section of wall fell off the second storey, prompting the city to conduct a health and safety inspection on Oct. 8.

“The inspection revealed that the building has extensive water damage to the interior structure, contains black mould, and due to the age of the building, asbestos is also assumed to be present,” a staff report said.

Members of the fan club have set up a separate Facebook group called Save Ian’s Coffee Shop. One person posted that he was willing to contribute $1,000 to the cause. Members hope to meet and discuss ideas with the Turner family.

The building, assessed at $1.54 million, is one of three in the Jubilee neighbourhood owned by Catherine Caroline Turner. City documents identify Charlotte Turner as the power of attorney. She declined requests for an interview.

Victoria architect Franc D’Ambrosio said he expressed an interest in purchasing the building years ago. “But there were some complications with the estate. It’s one of those things that happens in families and it just got let go. And that’s sad, but it’s a fact of life.”

The Turner building has no real historic value, he said. “It has nostalgic value in memory.”

Architect Alan Lowe said that, when he was mayor of Victoria, the Turners came into his office and talked about what they might be able to do.

“But I never heard from them again,” Lowe said. “We were willing to see how we could help them out. We encouraged them how to revitalize and redevelop the building.”

Read Related Topics

© Copyright Times Colonist


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Times Colonist welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus

Sign up for the Times Colonist newsletter

  • Now Hiring

    Post openings and apply for local opportunities!

Most Popular


    The Times Colonist is looking for newspaper carriers to work in the Reader Sales and Service Department.

Find out what's happening in your community.