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923 Burdett St




The Mount St. Angela is a rezoning proposal to construct a 132 rental units senior living residence at 923 Burdett Street. The development will restore three beautiful heritage buildings onsite: Cartreff (911 Burdett), Angela College (923 Burdett), and the Temple residence (924 McClure). The project will provide an opportunity to interface new construction in a manner that reinforces and benefits both parts of the design.

The innovative design and construction of the building will be of the highest quality and includes leading edge environmental design. Following the community’s vision, goal and objectives the project will bring city benefits by meeting the demand of new senior housing and care. The site plan has been carefully considered to protect the historical characteristics of the area while creating a visual framework for the downtown core.

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Fitting within the scale, market and demographics the project strives to pose minimal impacts to the neighborhood both during and post construction. The project is designed to minimize the impact on sunlight and views from adjacent buildings. Post construction noise and activity will be compatible with the adjacent residential properties.

The project will offer units ranging in size from 250 square feet to 900 square feet. Most are designed for a high level of independent living, while 24 provide for a higher level of assisted care. The blended density of the total project while in line with other multi family projects creates a range of affordability and allows residents to move within the facility as their needs change.

The founder Norm Isherwood was born and raised on the property, which makes the Norwood Group perfect stewards of the building site, providing an amazing opportunity to create an inclusive community that opens up greater access to Victoria to local seniors. The space will preserve local history, as well as, service the changing needs of the senior community by offering diversity in living options. There is no better group to oversee this project as we have a vested interest and understanding of the site and can ensure we are dedicated to maintaining the historical characteristics of both the site and the buildings.



“Promoting age-friendly communities is one of the most effective strategies to promote healthy and active aging, as well as contributing to the goal of sustainable, healthy communities. Victoria is among the cities in Canada that sets the gold standard for aging well. The proposed senior housing community will provide added value by serving the salient interests and needs of its residents as well as the surrounding neighbourhood. Housing will be affordable, well located and secure.”
Dr. Cindy de Frias, PhD


Angela College was constructed in 1865. The original College is a strong architectural statement placed across from Christ Church Cathedral further confirming its place within the community. The College is one of the best surviving buildings left by Victoria’s first significant architectural firm, Wright and Sanders. The Angela College, formally named Collegiate School for Young Ladies, was named after Lady Angela Burdett-Coutts in recognition of her support of both the college and education of young women. The College ran from 1869 to 1905, and then in 1908 began operating as a residential hotel. Over the years the hotel shuffled through various managers and owners before being purchased by Norman Isherwood Senior in 1942.

Norman managed the hotel until his death in 1954, at which time his widow continued the management. In 1959 she sold the hotel to the Sisters of St. Ann, where they then converted the College into a retirement home for their order. A small structural change was made by the sisters to divide the living room to create space for a chapel. The sisters renamed the building to Mount St. Angela and had it designated heritage in 1992. In 1993 the sisters won a Hallmark Society Award for their restoration of the building and acquired three adjacent properties – 929 Burdett, 913 Burdett (Cartreff) and 924 McClure Street (Temple Residence). In 2006 the Isherwood family bought back the Mount St. Angela and acquired the other properties including 913 Burdett, which continued as a retired sisters residence. The College has since been leased to the Vancouver Island Health Authority.

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Cartreff is a well-maintained Maclure residence that was built in 1904. The house was originally built for Georgina Penelope Storey and Cecil Morton Roberts, who was a long-time member of the Royal Canadian Legion and a notable athlete; by the time of his death in 1961 he was the last surviving member of the renowned Victoria Rugby team of 1887-88. Cecil was living with Samuel and Margaret Maclure in 1901 and hired Samuel to design their house. Georgina passed in 1960 and Cecil followed in 1961. 10 years beforehand they moved to 853 Burdett, The Royal Anne Mansions. The Sisters of St. Ann later acquired the Cartreff home to use as a home for retired sisters. The house was designated heritage in 1977. Currently the sisters still use the house as a residence.

The Temple residence is a British Arts and Crafts designated home that was built in 1906. Ernest Temple occupied the home until 1911. Thomas Dufferin Pattullo, a member of the BC Legislature for 29 years and BC’s premier in 1933-1941, lived in the home from 1911-1912. Percy Forbes, an Imperial Bank clerk, lived in the home from 1914-1917 and then during the 1920s the home was occupied by Barrister Thomas Edward Clark and his wife Lucy Jeane Hennen. In 1931 Edward Cornelius Burtt, an electrician and manager of the Wellington Apartments, occupied the home with his wife Ellen Josephine. By 1939, Victoria native Walter Engelhardt and his wife Elizabeth May were residents until the mid 1940s. Norman and Elizabeth Iswherwood lived in the home from 1946 until the early 1950s. The house was later acquired by the Sisters of St. Ann and then purchased back by the Isherwood family in 2007.

Considerable attention has been made in our proposal to provide proportions, open space, context and materials that work to better respect and define the existing buildings discussed above. The Mount St. Angela development places importance on retaining the original position of the College.

911-13-17 Burdett Avenue, Cartreff. (2013). Retrieved from

924 McClure Street. (2015). Retrieved from

923 Burdett Avenue, Angela College; Angela Hotel; Mount St. Angela. (2013). Retrieved from



The Mount St. Angela will provide a stimulating environment for senior residences complete with an array of services. Boasting a range of housing types and care levels to suit the residents’ needs. A resident can select their living arrangement based on their level of functioning and autonomy ultimately maximizing their person-environment fit. We are committed to assisting and supporting local senior men and women to live in the downtown core not removed from the on goings of Victoria. Our facility will allow residences an opportunity to live as independent of a life as possible, while being apart of a piece of local history.

The Mount St. Angela will offer residents an opportunity for social contact and interaction by providing access to suites and public spaces through open stairs and expansive corridors, shared dining and meeting facilities with outdoor terraces, and amenities including a theatre, fitness/health spa and guest suites.

The Mount St. Angela will offer a variety of amenities and outdoor spaces to meet resident requirements including but not limited to formal and informal dining areas, meeting spaces, theatre, lecture hall, guest suites, a library and reading room, a spa and exercise facility and outdoor activity areas including an interactive vegetable garden.


Consideration of comfort, accessibility and durability was made in order to create a facility that fits within Community goals. The Mount St. Angela will provide a comprehensive and stimulating environment for the community, and for the staff and residents who will occupy and live here.

Parking on site has also been considered to conform to City requirements and in order to accommodate the needs of visitors and staff. Bicycle parking is provided to the required standard with 107 spaces and an additional exterior bike rack.

Preserving and upgrading the three designated homes is a major and integral part of the project in order to provide an image, sense of scale and respect for the community and its history. We believe we have a great opportunity to interface new construction with the Heritage buildings to create a major asset to Victoria’s urban landscape.


The development is one, which requires careful design and planning to create a project 
that keeps with the historical characteristics of the site. The project aligns with the goals for design and place found within city and community goals. The Mount St. Angela will contribute to the sense of neighbourhood for this area, neither conflicting nor overwhelming the surrounding buildings.

The buildings will take advantage of the Southern exposure by opening up the site plan, specific location of public facilities and designing a large landscaped courtyard and garden. The existing heritage buildings will dominate the streetscape on both Burdett and McClure. The public spaces within the facility are oriented to the exterior, to the South views and back to the Cathedral with the intention of connecting the residents visually to the surrounding community.


The Mount St. Angela will provide several benefits to the City of Victoria. The projects proximity to the city will reduce access time resulting in environmental benefits in terms of noise, energy consumption and pollution. Additionally residents and staff will have the ability to play an active part in the community thus contributing to a more active downtown core.

With consideration of the general and regional demographics around aging and life expectancy the need for senior living facilities will continue to increase. Roughly 16%, or 688,710 residents, of the population in British Columbia is over 65 years or older (Statistics Canada, 2012). Within Victoria, BC there are currently 344,615 residents with 18%, or 63,440, of them representing those over 65 years or older. It is expected that this number will reach 24% by 2036 (Statistics Canada, 2012). As this life expectancy of adults increases there is a need to provide levels of care to meet their capacities. That said there are limited projects such as the Mount St. Angela in this location, close to the downtown core and civic amenities.

The demand for seniors’ housing surpassed the available supply of units in British Columbia with the vacancy rates at approximately 10% for Vancouver Island (CMHC Seniors’ Housing Survey). As Victoria is home to a number of healthy seniors it is absolutely paramount that we provide independent housing with support. The Mount St. Angela allows us a great opportunity to do so.

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Construction of this project will allow residents who have traditionally lived in adjacent neighbourhood’s to continue to reside in the areas they are comfortable with as they age. Other perks of available community resources in the Fairfield area, is that residents can live near family members or their place of work with its proximity to the downtown core.

The Mount St. Angela is ideally located for access to community services and the readily available van will allow residents to take advantage. The Y fitness centre, RBCM and downtown shopping are within 3 blocks. Beacon Hill Park and Pioneer Park are also a short distance away and provide for a beautiful outdoor environment for residents to enjoy themselves, with friends or with family. Further, the accessibility of the amenities enables the residents to participate and contribute more readily within the community.



The Mount St. Angela provides a new approach to seniors housing based on shared eating and recreational areas, sustainable landscape and water management, high standard of environmental design, solar water heating, a range of housing types and care levels, provision of accessible units, and geothermal heating and cooling.

The Mount St. Angela was designed with a combination of active and passive energy principles in order to maintain an environmentally conscious development. The project and buildings will be oriented to take advantage of the south facing site and natural sunlight produced. The project will be constructed using a high performance wood frame system. Three significant existing heritage buildings will be retained and all the removed components of the structures will be recycled. Additionally the project will use solar collectors for hot water pre-heating, rainwater recapture for irrigation, storm water mitigation, permeable paving, heat recovery ventilation systems, and geo-thermal heating and cooling. All of the principles will meet the 2014 energy code and will be constructed using leading edge environmental design.


The Mount St. Angela Inspired Seniors Living facility is an exciting opportunity for Victoria. It will introduce concepts of social interaction, environmentally conscious design and neighbourhood not currently found in comparable facilities.

We ask that you please give the rezoning application the attention and support it deserves; let Mount St. Angela become an example for all senior residences to follow.

To comment on our proposal please fill out this feedback form.

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“Future residents of this facility will be immersed in the local culture, which will dampen or avoid potential feelings of isolation that are known to affect well-being.”
Dr. Cindy de Frias, PhD



924 McClure Street

Victoria, BC. V8V 3E7

Phone: 1 (250) 590-1463



317 185-911 Yates Street

Victoria, BC. V8V 4Y9

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