The Whalley Legion in a partially demolished state on Tuesday (June 11). (Photo submitted)

The Whalley Legion in a partially demolished state on Tuesday (June 11). (Photo submitted)

‘Goodbye legion 229’: Demolition of Whalley Legion building begins

The $312-million Surrey Legion Veterans Village project is to be built in its place

Demolition of the historic Whalley Legion began Tuesday (June 11) to make way for the $312-million Veterans Village project to be built in its place.

“Goodbye legion 229,” Whalley legion president Tony Moore wrote in an email to the Now-Leader, also sharing a photo of the partially torn down building at 13525 106th Ave., where the legion has operated since 1948.

As of Tuesday afternoon, about half of the main building was still standing.

“This will be taken down tomorrow if all goes well,” project superintendent Kelly Richter told the Now-Leader. “The demo team will be on site for the rest of the week.”

Last month, a ground-breaking ceremony for the Legion Veterans Village project was held. Once built, the site will feature two towers that emulate the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France.

Veterans and Legion members, local MPs, members of Surrey city council, MLAs and other dignitaries were on hand for the May 23 groundbreaking ceremony and to celebrate with a parade march by veterans and community groups, and speeches.

At the time, Moore described the Veterans Village as a “monumental” project.

READ MORE: Surrey Veterans Village groundbreaking ‘monumental’

homelessphoto

(Rendering of the planned Legions Veterans Village. Submitted photo)

Veterans Village was initiated by the Royal Canadian Legion BC/Yukon Command, Whalley Legion Branch 229 and the Lark Group, will house Canada’s first “centre of excellence,” treating veterans and first responders with a focus on post-traumatic stress disorder and mental health, as well as the Whalley Legion, which has been operating since 1947 and has been at this particular location, at 13525 106th Ave., since 1960.

Construction on the multi-million dollar project, which will also feature an “Innovation Centre for Rehabilitation” will be done in two phases. It will feature a 20-storey and 26-storey building, with the first phase slated to be finished by early 2022.

Moreover, the development will have 148 market housing units, more than 48 “affordable housing units,” and also offer temporary transitional and “crisis” housing for veterans and their families, as well as others in the community.

The second phase will see construction of the 26-storey building, with 325 market housing units.

At the May groundbreaking, Surrey-Whalley MLA Bruce Ralston praised the Veterans Village project, saying he predicts the facility “will be a beacon for British Columbia and Canada for how a modern legion works, and how it can genuinely serve the community.”

Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai echoed that, saying the site “symbolizes the future potential of what a modern legion can be.”

Surrey Councillor and acting mayor Laurie Guerra said the city is “honoured to be the site of Canada’s first centre of excellence for veterans and first responders.”

Guerra said the facility will “not only be transformative in the lives of our veterans and first responders, but the striking building will be a landmark, truly a landmark, in Surrey’s skyline.”

Meantime, the Whalley’s branch’s temporary home is in a former Japanese restaurant across from the Ukrainian church down the street. The Legion vacated its old digs on April 21.

With files from Tom Zytaruk

READ ALSO: Legion Veterans Village for Surrey unveiled

READ ALSO: Legion tweaks plans for Surrey’s Veterans Village

READ ALSO: Surrey’s Veterans Village, by design



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Through his lens, Doug Cook captured this picture of the Fraser River, Mount Baker, an eagle, and even the Golden Ears Bridge on a sunny fall afternoon. The photo was taken from the wooden walkway leading down to the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport float plane dock. (Contributed photo)
Friends of Semiahmoo Bay to host virtual World Wetland Day event

Webinar event to feature six speakers, to be held Feb. 2

One of the Choices Lottery grand prize packages includes a home located at 16730 19 Ave., Surrey. (Contributed photo)
Two South Surrey homes featured in Choices Lottery

Tickets on sale now for BC Children’s Hospital lottery

Pindie Dhaliwal, one of the organizers for the Surrey Challo protest for Indian farmers. She says organizers were told by Surrey RCMP that the event was not allowed due to COVID-19. Organizers ended up moving the protest to Strawberry Hill at the last minute. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Indian farmers rally moves as organizers say Surrey RCMP told them they couldn’t gather

Protest originally planned in Cloverdale, moved to Strawberry Hill

The City of Surrey is currently working through the initial phase for a park that’ll be built at 72 Avenue and 191 Street in Clayton. (Image via City of Surrey)
New park to be built in Clayton Heights

City of Surrey asking for feedback from Clayton residents

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at a Surrey high-intensity rehabilitation unit, Laurel Place. On Dec. 22, 2020, Fraser Health said four patients and two staff members have tested positive for the virus. (Image: Google Street View)
Fraser Health says COVID-19 outbreak over at Laurel Place in Surrey

Health authority declared outbreak over Jan. 16

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Most Read