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New cancer recovery centre coming to Victoria

Construction is to be completed in early 2025
William Litchfield, executive director of BC Cancer Foundation, Vancouver Island and Sandra Macpherson show off the original model of the building that her father, Don Macpherson, designed. (News Staff/Thomas Eley)

A new cancer recovery centre honouring Donald MacPherson was unveiled by BC Cancer Foundation on May 15.

“This would have been a project very dear to him to be able to repurpose a building that was originally designed from a healthcare perspective,” said Donald’s daughter, Sandra MacPherson.

Donald MacPherson was the architect for the original building when it was constructed in the 1970s for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. His signature style of incorporating wood, natural light and high ceiling can be observed when you enter the bulding.

The Victoria Integrated Care and Research Pavilion, located at 2480 Richmond Road, is still under construction and is scheduled to be completed in early 2025.

“This building, purchase and renovation are all covered through community donation,” said William Litchfield, executive director of BC Cancer Foundation.

BC Cancer began a $15 million campaign in October 2023, raising 80 per cent of the target amount. This allows them to rely on sources other than government money, Litchfield said.

“The initial response has been much more positive than we expected,” Litchfield said.

The refurbished building will add 12,000 square feet to the BC Cancer Centre and a stone’s throw from Royal Jubilee Hospital.

“Treatment will still be in the main building across the road. And we’re freeing up more space there,” Litchfield said.

Patients will come to the new building for pre-cancer care, during their cancer treatment and after any treatment plans have been completed.

“Often, we think of cancer care as just surgery, chemoradiation. But when we look at the patient, it’s more than just the treat. It’s a holistic piece of healing. And that incorporates the mental health.”

The new centre will house psychiatrists, counsellors, an oncologist, hereditary and genetic counsellors.

“They say you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, and you would do a genetic screening, depending on the results. Talk about the next steps,” Litchfield said.

“Mental health is a challenge everywhere in the world today. But layer on top of that, the challenge of dealing with a cancer diagnosis,” added Litchfield.

Community members can donate to the Victoria Integrated Care and Research Pavilion, and the Campbell family of Victoria is matching all donations for two weeks.

“A family who stepped up with a $500,000 donation to match community gifts. So the Campbell family their matching gifts to the end of the month so they put in 500,000.”

To donate, please visit


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