By ROB JOHNSON
It is said that the only constant is change. This can be seen with the changes on the site next to the Ladysmith Home Hardware building across the highway. If you drive by you will notice the old wooden structure that was home to a truck repair shop is gone. The workshop was built in 1948 by Comox Logging and Railway to repair logging trucks and other vehicles.
Early on the morning of August 23 it was transported to its new location on the Blackstaff property in Saltair where it will be reunited with the machine shop equipment that was donated to Harry and Shirley Blackstaff by Donald and Annette Carmichael. It is to be incorporated into their planned heritage/ educational project “Wheels of the Past”. The old shop building was donated by Garry and Carol Wagenaar of Terra-North Inc, developers of Oyster Bay Quay.
Don and Annette Carmichael, owners of the machine shop, are glad to see the building preserved as it has had a long history with their family. Don’s uncle Bill Marttala leased the shop from Comox and ran the shop for many years under the various changes in ownership of what was Comox Logging. Don remembers as a young boy watching it being built. As a child he was always helping out around the shop until he eventually left school to work there full time. He eventually took over the operation from his uncle. Around1973 he purchased the building and property. Don expanded the business and constructed additional buildings. TheCarmichaelsclosed up their businesses in 2006 and eventually sold the land, allowing for the creation of new business opportunities on the site.
Now that the old machine shop has been moved, it has created more space for the new Oyster Bay Quay building that is presently being built on the site. In mid August, the precast walls were raised and construction is well under way.
Oyster Bay Quay will provide space to house many different types of business ventures, such as, marine related, professional services, tourism, food and beverage, wood product manufacturing, medical or dental office, commercial offices, computer research and development and retail space amongst others. The new space will be available in early 2013 with Phase 2 to follow as required. Along with the Home Hardware building that was constructed a few years ago, the other side of the highway is adding a new dimension to Ladysmith.
To see the complete plans for the Oyster BayQuay visit www.oysterbayquay.com.