Demolition scheduled after building collapse in Penetanguishene

Officials from the Town of Penetanguishene say demolition is scheduled for Monday morning after the collapse of a centuries-old building.

The incident happened on Thursday, Sept. 7, around 3 a.m. on Main Street near Robert Street.

Related: Partial building collapse in Penetanguishene.

“While this incident is impactful to tenants and our community, we’re extremely thankful that there were no serious injuries,” said Mayor Doug Rawson in a news release. “I’m amazed, but not surprised, by the generosity of our town as we rally around the individuals and businesses impacted by this incident. Our town staff have our full confidence and support, and we thank all our area partners for stepping up and helping Penetanguishene.”

They say demolition will begin on Monday.

“Due to safety precautions and other complexities, the timeline for the demolition will be determined as work is being completed,” officials wrote in the release.

“However, safety continues to be our priority and road closures will remain in place until at least early next week. Structural engineers continue to inspect other nearby buildings and will evaluate any possible work that may be required due to impacts of this collapse.”

Officials added that “given the age of the building, demolition will follow all regulatory protocols related to the removal of possible environmentally sensitive substances.”

“Our number one priority is the safety of our residents and community, and we continue to respond and address this situation with extreme caution and due diligence,” said Jeff Lees, CAO of the Town of Penetanguishene.

“It is extremely important for the safety of everyone, that residents stay clear of the site until work is complete. We understand that this is our downtown core, and the incident has captured the attention of many, but we ask for your cooperation so clean up can be completed as safely, quickly and effectively as possible.”

Officials say road closures and detours are in place, as well as safety measures including fencing, police, and security checks.

Fourteen people were displaced from the incident and now living with family and friends or at a local hotel.

“While we believe that in some cases, risk is minimal, with safety as the number one priority, the town may require that additional buildings temporarily remain unoccupied until further safety checks can be made and more is known about the cause of this collapse,” Officials noted.

“The town and area partners will work to find alternative solutions for further temporary impacts.”

They say more information will come in the next week.

Banner image via At the Scene Photography / Michael Chorney