fbpx PixelServer

Don MacPherson’s Legacy Lives in BC Cancer – Victoria Expansion

May 16, 2024

English writer and philosopher John Ruskin said, “We require from buildings two kinds of goodness: first, doing their practical duty well; then, that they be graceful and pleasing in doing it.”

This was the approach architect Donald (Don) MacPherson took when designing 2340 Richmond Road in Victoria, shares his daughter Sandra. And that’s how it will live in its next era as the BC Cancer – Victoria Integrated Care and Research Pavilion.

Originally built for CNIB in the 1980s, work is underway to transform it into a standalone space to enhance BC Cancer’s Supportive Care programs. The building was purchased and is being renovated entirely through BC Cancer Foundation donor funding – a first in history.

Because the building was purpose built for healthcare, it includes accessibility features, counselling rooms, reception and administration spaces. The layout will remain virtually untouched in the renovations.

Beyond the practical, Don designed the space with intention for the patient experience. He wanted to create a space that was warm, calming and healing.

Don’s original drawing of 2340 Richmond Road, Victoria. Provided by the MacPherson family.

Sandra and her family recently had the chance to walk through the building and were delighted to see so many of the original features, including the model building still housed in the entrance. She and her brother remember painting the model cars.

“It brought back such fond memories of watching him work. He handmade those models with great precision, accuracy and care.”

It’s the details, says Sandra, that show her dad’s aesthetic and thought. The clerestory windows and angled roof, positioned just so to catch the last rays of sunlight. The garden to offer a place of quiet contemplation. The wood for warmth and to create a welcoming space for patients and staff. “When people are happy, they can provide better care.”

This attentive approach means much of the renovation is cosmetic – removing 80s-era carpet and linoleum, replanting the healing garden and modernizing Donald’s patient-centric vision. In turn, this made the project possible for the Foundation to take on.

Don unfortunately passed from lymphoma just eight months after being diagnosed in 2002. Sandra and her family were thrilled when they heard 2340 Richmond Road was getting a new life for a cause so close to them.

“There wasn’t a lot available in terms of supportive care at the time. To have a space that offers family support, genetic testing, things that make a difference for a patient’s experience is absolutely vital. Dad would be behind this 100%.”

The MacPhersons have donated to the BC Cancer Foundation’s campaign and are proud to hear how the community has come together to support the project.

“It’s special to know dad’s legacy is living on and his work will help so many people.”

Donors can double their donation to the new building until May 31, thanks to a generous gift from the Campbell family. Donate today.