The Bruce Oake Recovery Centre broke ground on Thursday in front of a large crowd of supporters on what would have been Bruce Oake’s 34th birthday.
Bruce is the son of Scott and Anne Oake who died from a drug overdose in 2011.
The family decided to make an effort to help others struggling with addiction and approached the city last year about purchasing the old Vimy Arena site for $1 to build an addictions treatment centre.
“Every minute of our effort to get here has been worth it,” Scott Oake said at the ceremony.
The centre will become a long-term, residential treatment facility with the capacity to help 50 clients suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.
“The key is long-term,” Oake said. “Those seeking recovery can stay for as long as it takes to get it right.”
Oake also noted that anyone who can’t afford to pay, won’t be turned away.
“Recovery at no cost is a game-changer in the world of addiction recovery,” Oake said. “Lives will be saved at the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre.”
There has been both opposition and support for the project among local residents, and the city went through several consultations with the public during the approval process.
The sale of the land was approved last year, and in January, city council shot down an appeal on the decision.
The treatment centre is scheduled to open in the spring of 2021.
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