SALTS Sail and Life Training Society to Relocate in September

SALTS, the Sail and Life Training Society has announced that they have secured long-term leases at new shipyard and office locations in Victoria. Back in 2005 the organization found out that their future at 203 Harbour Road was uncertain, since the site was being eyed for redevelopment. It became apparent in August 2011 that SALTS could not stand in the way of the significant physical and economic expansion of Point Hope Shipyard, nor could it be accommodated within that redevelopment.

They spent the past year exploring every other option available that might best meet the facility’s needs. It was a tall order for a small charity to secure oceanfront property in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world.  A few location options looked promising initially but fell through due to high capital investments required and their own financial and fundraising priorities at the present time.

In late September, the SALTS office will move to 451 Herald Street, into a beautiful brick and heavy timber heritage building. Constructed in 1894, the building at one time housed the coal-powered electric generators that powered Victoria's streetlights. They will be beside Canoe Brewpub and Restaurant and just a stone's throw from the current location in Victoria's Upper Harbour.

The new SALTS office will overlook Canoe Marina (NOT to be confused with Canoe Cove Marina, which is in North Saanich), which will provide year-round moorage for their donated boats and winter moorage for their tall ships. During sailing season (March through October), their tall ships will continue to operate out of the Inner Harbour at Ship Point Wharf. Canoe Marina offers a very rare combination of industrial zoning, adequate depth for the ships, existing docks and office space, and moorage that is protected from heavy weather. The moorage and offices will be an improvement from our present arrangement in terms of their functionality and aesthetics.

In mid-September, their maintenance and storage shop will relocate to 539 David Street in Rock Bay's industrial district. The shop space is very basic but functional. This will be used for annual spar refinishing, rigging maintenance, and materials storage. The organization will lease additional space for new tall ship construction elsewhere in Victoria when required since that is a temporary need.

The relocation and tenant improvements at all locations will cost SALTS about $150,000 in total. These costs are a fraction of the investments that would have been needed at the alternative locations we considered.

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