First phase of $312 million Metro Vancouver mental health and housing hub for Canadian Forces veterans opens
A first-of-its-kind facility in Canada for Canadian Forces veterans and first responders officially opened in Surrey City Centre earlier this week.
After nearly four years of construction, the first phase of Legion Veterans Village at 10626 City Parkway — located at the northeast corner of the intersection of City Parkway and 106 Avenue, immediately east of the BC Lions training hub and near SkyTrain Gateway Station — is providing veterans and first responders with dedicated healthcare services and affordable housing options.
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The first phase entails the Centre of Clinical Excellence, which occupies the base levels of the 20-storey tower, and is operated by Veterans and First Responders Health (VFRH).
It provides a hub for specialized clinics and services, including: the family physicians and nurses of VFRH’s primary care clinic; the pain, mental health, PTSD, and addiction treatment services of Actum Health; the neurological physiotherapy and rehabilitation services of Neuromotion; City Parkway Dental; and HealthTech Connex Brainnovation Network.
Legion Veterans Village is built on the site of the old Whalley Legion Branch 229. About 10,500 sq ft of space within this first tower was set aside for a new replacement and expanded legion branch, including a restaurant and bar, full-service industrial kitchen, cadet assembly hall, banquet room, and lounge and billiards area, along with dedicated underground parking.
“We are excited to usher in a new era of the Legion with this unique Legion Veterans Village project,” said Veronica Brown, executive director of the BC/Yukon Command of The Royal Canadian Legion, which worked with the legion and local developer Lark Group to pursue this unique mixed-use hub.
This project, a decade in the making, was inspired by the sacrifices of Canadian Forces veteran Captain Trevor Greene, who suffered a debilitating head injury from an axe attack in Afghanistan in 2006.
“It is a symbol and monument of what a modern Legion could be, representing much of what our veterans care about, what they need a Legion to be, and how we can better service our veterans, our communities and the essential first responders who look after us,” continued Brown.
Above the Centre of Clinical Excellence and the legion, the mid-section of the 20-storey tower contains 91 affordable homes for veterans and first responders, and their families. These units are owned and managed by the VRS Communities Society.
The remaining upper levels in the tower provide 171 condominium homes, which are collectively known as Parc Centrale, developed by Dava Developments.
In early 2022, Landa Global Properties acquired the project’s second phase — a 26-storey tower, named Lucent, with about 400 condominium homes — from Dava Developments. Lucent is expected to begin construction this year for a completion in 2026.
The market condominium uses in both towers are necessary to cover the cost of building the facilities of the Centre of Clinical Excellence and the new legion, and the significant affordable housing component.
Both towers are designed by WA Architects. The completed building that houses the Centre of Clinical Excellence takes on an exterior form inspired by the shape of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France. Numerous design revisions were made over the years, and ultimately a simpler and more cost effective design was chosen.
With the Centre of Clinical Excellence now complete, the Legion Veterans Village Research Foundation has embarked on an initial fundraising campaign with a goal of raising $10 million for the translation of clinical research into programs, technologies, and services to support veterans, first responders, and their families at the centre and across the country.