Cabins being transported on Wednesday - photo credit John Lawless, Global News

Last Updated on May 19, 2022 by YGK News Staff

After a couple weeks worth of deliberation and consultation, the ten sleeping cabins initially housed at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour have officially found a new temporary home at Centre 70 Arena on Days Road.

The cabins received an extension from City Council until May 17 at the Harbour, but with boaters returning to use the space this summer they were required to be moved as of this morning.

Without any time left to spare for the cabin’s residents, council officially approved the move to Centre 70 at Tuesday’s meeting.

The hockey arena has no planned programming throughout the summer months, and has all the amenities deemed necessary for the cabin community to be working success.

Councillor Wayne Hill, who represents the area in which Centre 70 is located, heard mixed reviews from residents in the neighbourhood upon sharing that the location was being considered.

While that news was only made public two weeks ago, city staff held two public information sessions on May 9 and May 10.

Much like the pilot program at POH, some surrounding residents were concerned about the lack of consultation and the safety concerns that could come along with the cabin community.

Despite those fears, the pilot project was deemed a success in Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, with no serious incidents taking place in the cabin community and residents seeming pleased with their provided homes.

Gary Craigen, a resident in the vicinity of Centre 70 Arena, spoke to council on Tuesday night in favour of the move.

He said despite some people continuing to speak out against the choice of the new location that there is a “silent majority” of neighbours in favour of the project moving there that don’t feel a need to voice their opinion.

“I see far more supportive people wanting to know when the move is going to happen because perhaps they can bring some cookies up or do something to welcome the people coming,” Craigen said.

“I think if there are the lack of people opposing the cabins being moved here tonight, I think that indicates most people are happy.”

The sleeping cabins project is run by Our Livable Solutions, whose executive director Chrystal Wilson said that residents are excited to have a new home settled and to meet their new neighbours.

Although some have criticized the location for being so far from the downtown center, Wilson says residents had specifically cited a desire for a location further away from downtown that helps to “avoid negative distractions which impact their ability to move forward.”

Some residents are also looking forward to utilizing the nearby community garden.

In October, the city plans to move the cabins back to Portsmouth Olympic Harbour for the winter months.

Councillor Wayne Hill said while he’s happy to have found a location in the interim, more permanent solutions are needed for the cabins and for housing as a whole.

“More importantly we have to try to find more affordable housing for people because we need to find a solution to this problem,” Hill said.

“In terms of the sleeping cabins we definitely need to find a permanent site… there’s always going to be this disruption, right, where you’re moving the cabins and you’re moving the people. That’s not fair to anybody.”

All ten cabins were moved today and residents will be moved in as soon as Thursday.