Our History

ACT Logo Looking back, you can thank the Nanaimo club of the Associated Canadian Travellers (ACT) for their vision for a care facility for seniors in Nanaimo. ACT began raising funds in 1945, and in 1979 established the Nanaimo Travellers Lodge Society and secured registered charitable status. The Society purchased and renovated the old Nightingale Rest Home and renamed it the Nanaimo Travellers Lodge. Today, the original Home is now the secure Bonar Unit.

One of the hallmarks of NTL from the very beginning was the focus on person-centered care practices. Person-centered care is a model of care that shifts the focus from institutional and biomedical goals to the unique needs of the person in care, and is viewed as a preferred model for residential dementia care.

In January 1992, renovations and improvements continued with an increase in the laundry facilities and the enlargement of the front entrance sitting area.

Growing demand for quality care and an exacting accreditation process that began in 1992 necessitated even more renovations and improvements.

In 1993, the Lodge had 65 staff working in six departments. An 18-passenger bus was purchased and the first strategic planning workshop was held. Stepping Stones opened, a pilot program and partnership involving the BC Ministry of Health and the Alzheimer's Support Group. Music therapy was introduced weekly and a Palliative Care Committee was formed.

Three years later, 75 residents called the Lodge home and a 10-bed dementia care extension was planned.

At the turn of the millennium, the main courtyard was designed to inspire participation and to provide freedom to wander. In spite of the expansion of services, demand kept rising for dementia care, and in 2004, the Lodge decided to dedicate all of its beds and day care spaces to those suffering from dementia.

In 2005, the Community Bathing program was started as a pilot project, and still continues today.

2006 With urging from Island Health (VIHA) our NTL Board made the decision to replace the facility to meet the updated design criteria to allow residents to age in place Our journey began with the purchase of 3 adjoining lots on Northfield for a combined 3.75 acres.

June 2007 The fourth Northfield property was purchased resulting in a final property size of 4.9 acres

Jan 2008 Board unanimously decided to adopt the Eden Philosophy of Care

Early 2008 RW Wall Ltd. was hired as the project manager and 3 new board members joined bringing specialized expertise. We began the process of amalgamation and rezoning of properties

Jan. 2008 NTL Board unanimously voted to adopt the Eden Philosophy of Care

Jan 2009 Several Board members, management, staff and consultant team visited Sherbrooke Training Centre in Saskatoon to learn about the Eden philosophy and see designs that would suit the new building

April 2010 Staff adopt the name for the new facility as Eden Gardens/

May 28, 2010 VIHA reps met with our architects to bring them up to date on plans and they were very supportive of construction plans.

July 5, 2010 Submitted rezoning app to City of Nanaimo which was unanimously approved in Sept. 2010

Nov 15, 2010 NTLS Foundation incorporated

Sept 2011 Advised by Island Health (VIHA) that we would be signing Notice of Intentcontract to replace our existing 90 bed facility and build an additional 40 licensed Dementia Care beds soon

Jan 2012 Then advised by Island Health that the project must go to public tender

MAY 2012 Request for Proposals published by Island Health

Aug 31, 2012 NTL responded before closing date of RFP

Dec 17, 2012 NTL awarded Preferred Proponent status by Island Health. The negotiations began

June 7, 2013 Signed contract with VIHA

March 2014 Financing in place with BC Housing

April 2013 Jim Morris contracted as Owners Agent to ensure we get the best possible building, representing the owners and staff interests

July 2014 Detailed Building design completed

Aug 2014 Public tendering process began

Oct 2014 Over budget, next few months redesigning

March 2015 Budget and design approved by Board

June 2015 Financing approved by BC Housing and permits were approved and both VIHA and BC Housing approved the go ahead

June 24, 2015 Signed fixed fee contract with RW (Bob) Wall Ltd

June 26, 2015 Building permit issued by City of Nanaimo

July 5, 2015 It's Happening Party at Northfield site

July 6 2015 Construction started Anticipated opening April 30, 2017

Nanaimo Travellers Lodge
1298 Nelson Street Nanaimo, BC V9S 2K5
(250) 758-4676