Have you noticed the new “Wing Kei Village” sign that has gone up on the former Centre Street Church building at 41 Ave and Centre Street? Perhaps you are wondering what it means.
Wing Kei is a Calgary based not-for-profit charity that provides quality, culturally-appropriate long-term care for Calgary seniors. “We opened our first 30 bed unit in 1996 at the Bethany Care Centre,” said Mr. Vincent Leung, Board Chair. “For the past fifteen years, we have been serving seniors from our own facilities located in Greenview and Crescent Heights.”
“Wing Kei” means “Glorify God”, in Chinese. It acquired the 3-acre West Campus from the Centre Street Church in 2017. Mr. Leung describes the Wing Kei Village vision as “aging in place”. A continuum of integrated seniors housing will serve residents in three interconnected buildings.
Wing Kei Village will be constructed in three phases over the next decade.
Phase One (5 – 6 storeys) will provide supportive living, specialized dementia care and long-term care beds for approximately 180 vulnerable seniors. Phase Two will offer independent living with some support services for approximately 120 residents. The Third and last phase will be located directly onto Centre Street. It will contain mixed use neighbourhood commercial, office and market housing units to accommodate between 120 – 150 people.
In September of 2019, City Council endorsed this vision by allowing a change to the land use designations. The comprehensively designed project will have amenity and landscaped green space.
Wing Kei Village will extend their model of care to a broader cultural and multi-ethnic mix of communities in our city. It has also introduced a unique inter-generational component into the village concept by establishing a Montessori School. “The interaction across generations will enrich everyone who participates,” says Ms. Kathy Tam, Wing Kei CEO. “Young people and elders will have opportunities to establish relationships and learn from each other. We are very excited about the possibilities this creates,” she added.
The project fulfills Wing Kei’s core mission, according to Mr. Leung. “We will serve the Highland Park, Thorncliffe-Greenview, and north end communities for a very long time. Wing Kei wants to be a good neighbour and continue to be a positive difference for the people around us,” he said.