Top News

Buddhists proposing new P.E.I. monastery

While Buddhist nuns don’t observe Christmas, that doesn’t mean they aren’t celebrating the season with their fellow Islanders. From left, Venerable Joanna, Venerable Yvonne and Venerable Sabrina say Buddhists have much in common with many other Islanders who celebrate the birth of Jesus. It’s all about bringing positive influences to people.
From left, Venerable Joanna, Venerable Yvonne and Venerable Sabrina are seen in this file photo. - SaltWire Network

Public will get chance to see plans for Brudenell area on Thursday

The Great Wisdom Buddhist Institute (GWBI) will be holding a public meeting on Thursday in Brudenell to go over some ambitious plans.

In order to facilitate enrolment for its nuns, GWBI hopes to build a vast complex on its property in Brudenell.

Since 2012, the nuns have been housed in temporary quarters at a facility on the Uigg Road.

Floyd Sanderson, spokesman for GWBI, said the proposed complex would encompass 300 acres and have space for 1,400 nuns. It’s part of a 10-year, multimillion-dollar project for a multi-building complex.

The money will come from international sources.

“It depends on enrolment, construction, donation of funds in order to achieve the (planned) construction. There are many variables,’’ Sanderson said Monday.

The buildings would be constructed on the north and south side of the Brudenell Road. There would be four main clusters of buildings on the north side and two building clusters on the south side, including one dormitory.

Sanderson said the north side of the road would involve Asian construction (using Tang dynasty architecture), similar to the style used at the Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute (GEBIS-monks) location in Heatherdale.

“Included in the plans are teaching facilities, a lecture hall, temple, community walking trails which will be open to the public, a tourism area for visiting people and facilities for visiting parents. We see a lot of parents come here on these huge retreats, and there’s two ongoing right now.’’

There will also be things like gardens and greenhouses and park areas that will help cover an area of 200,000 square feet.

As for parking, Sanderson said that’s still in the permit stage, but there will be one parking lot on the south side of Brudenell Road for buses and cars.

A number of acres have also been set aside to allow GWBI an opportunity to run its own independent sewage system.

“Absolutely, both sides of the road will have a provincially-approved septic system,’’ Sanderson said.

The project has a professional project manager. Architect Rob LeBlanc and Charlottetown’s Nine Yards Studio are also involved in the planning.

“Our hope is to meet with the community and show all of our package to them and receive all of our permits in order to build and start tendering out for huge projects for local contractors.

GWBI is also dealing with the Community of Brudenell in regard to zoning and permits.

Sanderson adds there is a significant tourism component to all this, pointing out that the monks’ monasteries in Heatherdale and Little Sands annually draw 2,500 visitors during the shoulder season. Some even emigrate to P.E.I.

Thursday’s public meeting is an open house and will take place 5 to 8 p.m. at Roma at Three Rivers National Historic Site at 505 Roma Point Rd. in Montague.

The plans are available on the provincial government’s website at https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/communities-land-and-environment/construction-monastery-facility-great-wisdom-buddhist.

[email protected]
Twitter.com/DveStewart

Did this story inform or enhance your perspective on this subject?
1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

Recent Stories