After a ten-year legal battle and two previous failed attempts, the city of St. Thomas today (Oct. 19) was given the green light to demolish a derelict downtown building.
The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the city, denying owner David McGee’s most recent attempt at intervention to halt demolition of the four-storey Talbot Street edifice dating back to 1913.
“The courts found in favour of the city including the awarding of costs,” advised city manager Wendell Graves in an email.
Last week, the Court of Appeal allowed McGee to represent the parent company, Sutherland Lofts Inc. Previously McGee had relied on legal counsel Valerie M’Garry.
In 2008, Justice David Little commented ““The city has acted properly throughout. That cannot be said for the owner. The city is effectively being held hostage, as are its citizens, by an apparent shell corporation that has proven itself unreliable.”
Justice Peter Hockin, in June of this year, ruled two work orders issued by the city in 2015 and 2016 are valid. Thereby confirming the structure was, indeed, unsafe.
Graves advised the city will be in discussion with the demolition contractor – Schouten Excavating of Watford – to begin tearing down the crumbling building as soon as they can mobilize their equipment. Demolition is expected to take about 30 days.
Questions and comments may be emailed to: City Scope
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