City issues new Sutherland Press building work order

A month after failing in its bid to proceed with demolition, the city has again slapped a work order on the Sutherland Press building and owner David McGee.

On Sept. 27 at the Elgin County Courthouse, Justice Gorman ruled a previous order issued in March of this year warning of demolition for failure to comply were null and void due to improper delivery and lack of specificity on the part of the city.27jt01sutherlandjpg

That order called for immediate replacement of spalling or damaged bricks and securing the roof, which had suffered a partial collapse.

Last Friday, city manager Wendell Graves confirmed a new unsafe building order has been issued to McGee.

“They will have to respond back to that appropriately and additionally we have appealed the court decision by the justice,” advised Graves.

“So now there are two parallel processes moving forward,” he noted. “We have to keep this thing going. Who knows when the courts will hear the appeal.”


With the future of the Sutherland Press building still in doubt following a decision in which Justice Gorman declined to rule on a request from owner David McGee for an injunction to halt demolition of the structure, the city has been forced to take action. A section of Moore Street has been closed once again due to safety concerns as has the sidewalk in front of the four-storey structure on Talbot Street.

Graves pointed out the new work order has a very specific time line.

“They have until Dec. 15 to provide a detailed work plan and schedule to get the thing remedied and then work has to commence by the 9th of January.”

Speaking to the Times-Journal two weeks ago, lawyer Valerie M’Garry affirmed “things need to be done on the building,” however McGee was having difficulty obtaining financing.

“It’s always been a Catch 22,” M’Garry added. “The building needs money in order to move it ahead. He can’t get the money if it’s going to be imminently demolished.”

In the meantime, Moore Street remains closed for one block south of Talbot Street and the sidewalk in front of the four-storey structure dating back to 1913 has also been closed.

In addition, the transit centre has been moved to the new community recycling centre on South Edgeware Road, with bus tickets available at city hall.

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