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Charleswood vet looks to expand

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A local veterinary clinic is poised to un­der­­take a major expansion of its Roblin Boulevard location.


Charleswood Veterinary Clinic owner Dr. Ab Hague purchased the lot adjacent to his clinic at 3717 Roblin Blvd. last September and plans to expand the practice.


Councillors on the Assiniboia community committee recommended earlier this month that the city approve a rezoning application for the 11,000 sq. ft. property that would allow the clinic to expand.


The city’s Executive Policy Committee will review the application at its May 5 meeting. City council could vote on the application as soon as May 19.


Hague, who also owns the Crestview Veterinary Hospital on Ness Avenue, said that an increase in demand for veterinary services prompted him to consider expanding.


"People in this day and age are quite willing to make sure their pets are healthy and have a high quality of life, so more are willing and able to take their pets to the veterinarian," said Hague, who lives in River Heights.


The 2,500 sq. ft. clinic currently sees as many as 80 animals a day, which makes it difficult for their owners to get in and out of the parking lot, he said.


"Then we realized we needed to expand our surgery when you get new equipment and a few more veterinarians around, you need the facilities to make sure everything runs smoothly," he said.


Hague declined to say how much it cost to acquire the neighbouring property, but estimated that construction of a new 1,500 sq. ft. facility will cost between $300,000 and $500,000.


Veterinarian Bob Spice said the additional space will allow the clinic to offer more services to the community.


"The community itself has grown and there’s a lot of subdivisions in Charles­wood that weren’t here when we started in the ’70s," said Spice, adding that some clients come from as far away as Kenora.


"The practice has grown from being a one-man operation in the ’70s when we started it, to where there are now five doctors now."


The site adjacent to the clinic used to be home to an auto service centre. Hague said he has already had discussions with Manitoba Conservation officials regarding concerns he had about possible soil contamination.


Hague expects the proposed new facility will include the clinic’s main reception and examination areas, which will allow for additional surgery space in the existing building. He doesn’t expect construction of the addition to interfere with the clinic’s operations.


Spice said that while a specific design for the property has yet to be decided on, the aim is to have it fit in with the rest of the community.


"We’ve always had a family practice identity with the nature of the building and the setting, and we hope to continue that," Spice said.

trevor.suffield@canstarnews.com

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