There are really very few substantial arguments for the demolition of Baybrook. Baybrook is one of the few remaining heritage homes in Comox.
Unlike its counterpart, “Shakesides,” Mack Laing’s second house, Baybrook does not flood, and is therefore salvageable for re-use as an interpretive centre for the Comox Valley.
The Mack Laing Heritage Society is a benevolent non-profit with no commercial interests. It has no interest in the park itself. It is only interested in preserving Baybrook as a walk-in educational facility for broad public access. The best argument against all this is the potential for Baybrook to flood as a result of tidal surges which are expected to increase in this century.
Baybrook, like all dwellings on the shoreline such as homes along Balmoral Beach, Kye Bay, and DND structures on the Goose Spit, are in the potentially active tidal zone.
If governments fail to act responsibly, and seas rise as predicted, these dwellings would be in danger somewhere between 2050 and 2100.
The recent record floods experienced Dec. 8-10 of this year provide a measure of what is to be expected. To ascertain the risk that tidal surges and floods pose to Baybrook, I went out to record the flood at high tide on Dec. 9. As the attached pictures show, water ran four inches over the clogged bridge at Brooklyn Creek.
The house itself sat comfortably about 2.5 – 3 metres up on the midden hillock, safe from flooding.
While there were no means to ascertain whether water infiltrated the basement, there were no previous signs of this in the engineer’s report.
As with any other public building [in a flood zone], Baybrook would have to be closed during the two-to-three days of flood.
There is no reason to believe that a building, restored at no cost to the public, should not continue to be of benefit to the public.
Should Baybrook ever be overwhelmed by climate change, it would really be an indictment of our governments’ failure to act on climate change. Logically, if Baybrook should be demolished on this account, then so should the Filberg Lodge, Lewis Centre and all other aforementioned homes and buildings.
Anyone interested in a video of the flood at Baybrook should consult www.macklaingsociety.ca/.