News release – Town of Penetanguishene
The Town of Penetanguishene would like to update residents on the actions being taken in response to the building collapse in the historic downtown core.
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the entire team, portions of the site have been cleared of any debris that posed an imminent public safety hazard. As a result, the east side, and a small portion of the west side of the sidewalks surrounding the area will reopen on September 13 to allow for pedestrian traffic and business storefront access. A full road closure remains in effect until further notice.
A detailed map has been attached to show areas that are still blocked off for ongoing safety concerns. Residents and businesses at 78, 76, 74, 72, 70, 68 & 66 Main Street and 2 Water Street continue to be evacuated until further notice.
While the progress of the project work to date has been positive, there is still work to be done to ensure the complete removal of the damaged structure while working to protect the integrity of the surroundings. Currently, crews and officials are in the process of temporarily supporting the remaining structures using the process of “shoring.” At this time, it is estimated that the work required to make the buildings safe for re-entry could take approximately 2 weeks, depending on how the situation progresses. At any time, adjustment to the plan may be required given unknown circumstances that may arise.
We remain grateful for the support and understanding of the community during this challenging time. As mentioned throughout this situation, we ask everyone to continue to avoid the unsafe area for their own safety and respect for the ongoing project efforts. The community is thanked in advance for staying outside the fenced-in area while continuing to support local businesses. We will continue to provide updates on the progress of the project as new and material information becomes available.
Amidst the chaos and destruction, we are delighted to share some heartwarming news. Two cats that were feared missing after the building collapse were found safe and sound by the Penetanguishene Fire Department. The cats, Angel and Thor were rescued from the ruins and, after identification, returned to their owners. The owners of the cats were overjoyed and grateful to have their beloved pets back. Further, with the careful assistance of the excavator operator, undamaged family urns were retrieved and returned to those to whom they belonged. These little victories remind us of the importance of community and coming together to support one another.
The Town alongside the County of Simcoe with assistance from partners have been working diligently together since the incident to ensure that all affected individuals receive the necessary support and assistance for temporary shelter.
We would like to thank everyone involved in the recovery efforts as well as the community for their support during this difficult time.
Banner image via the Town of Penetanguishene