Residents living at the Kanata Place Revera retirement residence on Castlefrank Road who are not on social assistance will have to find new lodgings after the Shepherd’s of Good Hope purchased the building.
The sale was announced to staff, residents and their families on Feb. 11 and 12. About one-third of the 98 residents will have to move by June 18, when the deal finalizes, said Denis Daoust, regional director of operations for Revera.
Revera will honour residents’ current rent rate if they choose to move into another building owned by the company and will also pick up the tab for packing and moving expenses, said Daoust.
“We’ve asked them to move out of their home so we’re trying to make it as easy as possible,” he said. “Until then it’s business as usual. We will continue to care for the residents that live at Kanata Place.”
Daoust said of the sale came as a surprise for many.
“We couldn’t announce anything before that meeting.”
The Westwood Overview, owned by Revera on Carling Avenue, has vacancies for residents on independent living who want to remain with the landlord.
“We are honouring their current rate so whatever rate they are currently paying they’ll be able to move into the Westwood at that rate,” said Daoust, adding it will offer a “continued sense of community.”
A number of residents have already selected rooms at Westwood and many comments have been positive so far, he added.
Rob Nino, Glen Cairn Community Association president, said the sale “looks like a win-win scenario for the community.”
“The facility will be remaining a seniors’ home,” he said, adding the Shepherd’s of Good Hope does great work. “They’re wonderful neighbours to have.
“I think it’s going to be a good thing.”
Shepherd’s of Good Hope executive director Paul Soucie said the organization was looking for housing in the west end. The building will become the Kanata Wellness Centre for older adults.
He said the neighbourhood and access to other facilities such as churches and community centres will help residents live better.
“We want them to have a better environment,” said Soucie. “All those things add to a person’s wellbeing. This is what we’re trying to accomplish.
“It’s a wonderful, wonderful neighbourhood.”
He said there will be very little change when the Shepherd’s of Good Hope takes over the facility.
“The majority of people are staying there, the majority of staff are staying there,” he said. “People won’t even know we’re there.”
Shepherd’s of Good Hope also owns the St. Andrew and the Oaks residences, both supportive housing facilities in Ottawa.
“We get engaged in the community,” said Daoust. “We’ve got a really proud record.”
Peter Henry, a resident of Kanata Place, is one who will have to find a new place to call home.
He said it was “quite a shock” to many at the residence when the sale was announced.
“They told the staff an hour before us. Nobody had any clue at all,” he said. “The ones that are subsidized can stay. But those like myself, who have a private room (or) semi private room” will have to find new living quarters.
Henry, who has zero vision due to a condition called retinitis pigmentosa, as well as glaucoma, is also on a waiting list for volunteer support through Citizen Advocacy of Ottawa.
He said the Westwood facility isn’t a good fit for him and his guide dog Zeus because his family lives in Munster and Stittsville and he’s also a member of the Kanata-Hazeldean Lions Club.
“For us, that’s out of the question.”
He said he’s looked into the Revera-owned Stittsville Seniors Community Overview residence but the price quotes are “way more” than what he’s currently paying.
A resident of Glen Cairn who wanted to remain anonymous said she’s concerned about the switch in ownership.
“I know the Shepherd’s of Good Hope are doing good things but do they have to be in a residential neighbourhood?” she asked. “All the people that pay private, in the private rooms, they all have to move.”
She added she’d heard that the former daycare – the Kanata Child Care Centre attached to the residence that closed in 2011 – would be turned into a 24-hour drop in centre.
“There are a lot of people very upset and scared. The old people are scared what’s going to come there,” she said. “I just don’t understand; can they really put something in there without informing the community? I think the community should know what’s going on.”
Soucie said the Shepherd’s of Good Hope has no plans for the daycare facility at this time. He added there would not be a drop-in centre, and if programming is offered at the residence it “would match what’s in the building. It’s a care facility.”