New life for old building in Castlegar’s downtown

Dr. Sandy Battista has renovated an old downtown building for her chiropractic practice. Photo: Betsy KlineDr. Sandy Battista has renovated an old downtown building for her chiropractic practice. Photo: Betsy Kline
The new Head 2 Toe clinic features local art and a calming atmosphere. Photos: Betsy KlineThe new Head 2 Toe clinic features local art and a calming atmosphere. Photos: Betsy Kline
The new Head 2 Toe clinic features local art and a calming atmosphere. Photos: Betsy KlineThe new Head 2 Toe clinic features local art and a calming atmosphere. Photos: Betsy Kline
The new Head 2 Toe clinic features local art and a calming atmosphere. Photos: Betsy KlineThe new Head 2 Toe clinic features local art and a calming atmosphere. Photos: Betsy Kline
The new Head 2 Toe clinic features local art and a calming atmosphere. Photos: Betsy KlineThe new Head 2 Toe clinic features local art and a calming atmosphere. Photos: Betsy Kline
The Head 2 Toe team. Photo: SubmittedThe Head 2 Toe team. Photo: Submitted
The building before the renovations. File photoThe building before the renovations. File photo

An old building in downtown Castlegar has received a major face lift thanks to local chiropractor Dr. Sandy Battista.

Battista is the owner of Head 2 Toe Chiropractic which had been operating in a rented downtown location on Columbia Avenue for a number of years. She has been an active and vocal member of the downtown business community, looking for ways to promote and improve the city’s downtown core.

For more than a year Battista has been considering a move into a larger space of her own and when the building at 1237 3rd Street came up for sale in the fall, she discovered it was a space that would suit her growing business well.

The chiropractic practice now includes three chiropractors, an acupuncturist/traditional Chinese medicine practitioner and a registered massage therapist.

To say the building had a face lift is an understatement, it was actually more like complete reconstructive surgery.

The outside of the building features a West Coast modern vibe complete with attractive woodwork and eye-catching signage. The inside strikes a balance between professional and cozy. Battista is pleased with how Seib Contracting was able to turn her vision into a reality.

“I wanted to design a space that was warm and welcoming and a place where you would want to stay and hang out for a while,” said Battista. “I wanted the staff to have a nice place to work and a nice place for the patients as well.”

Battista didn’t just want more rooms, she wanted bigger, more comfortable, better designed rooms.

Another thing that was really important to Battista was decorating with local art. The walls are filled with paintings, photos and metal works from Kootenay artists.

Building during the COVID-19 pandemic ended up influencing some of the design choices for the building. Hallways became a little wider, spaces were set apart to separate people a little more and sinks were added to every treatment room.

But beyond the goals for her own business, Battista has a more overarching goal as well.

“I love downtown,” says Battista.

“My biggest goal was to get a space where we could improve downtown. When I moved here, I couldn’t believe people were not just jumping on the downtown.

“I think you need someone to kind of take that leap and reinvest in the community.”

Battista now hopes to inspire other businesses to update their buildings.

“Sometimes people just need to see what can be done.”

Battista plans to continue advocating for housing and other improvements for downtown Castlegar. In the near future, she hopes to have the second floor office space of her building ready to rent to others and don’t be surprised if some day you spot a mural going up on the side of the building.

READ MORE: Developer asks for zoning change to build eight housing units in downtown Castlegar



betsy.kline@castlegarnews.com

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