Elliot Lake – Two side-by-side buildings to be demolished

Two side-by-side buildings will be torn down following the approval of Elliot Lake council.

The two properties were seized by the City of Elliot Lake due to tax arrears.

The city carried out engineering studies and discovered both buildings would need extensive renovations due to serious structural problems, as well as asbestos tile removal.

Council agreed to the demolishment at a cost of around $60,000.

Businesses and residents in the area will be informed of the teardown once the date is finalized.

In late fall of 2018, the building known as 46 Ontario Ave (former Knights of Columbus building more accurately facing Philip Walk than Ontario Avenue) was vested in the city’s name following failed tax sales under the Municipal Tax Sales Act.

In 2019, the interior was gutted to the studs and in December of 2019 the city declared the property surplus and was preparing to sell the building to the Elliot Lake Emergency Food Bank. As part of the due diligence on that transaction an inspection was carried that identified some structural issues that scuttled the deal with the Food Bank. The deal never closed. An estimate of $100,000 would be needed to address the structural issues leaving the building still needing extensive interior renovations to the make the space functional. City staff continues to work with the Food Bank for other opportunities to assist them.

The immediately adjacent property at 22 Philip Walk (former Woodland Printers) was in tax arrears in a similar timeline. The pandemic slowed the process throughout 2020 but in October, the property was vested in the name of the municipality. 22 Philip Walk is also in poor condition requiring extensive renovations. A staircase was removed for public safety and the building has an order not to occupy placed on it.

Both properties have had designated substance reports done identifying some minor asbestos tiles needing remediation before the demolition can begin.

It is recommended by both staff and the city’s engineers to proceed to demolish as soon as practical considering the factors of the small size of the buildings, the less than ideal location and the considerable cost of repairs.

The work will be tendered competitively. Research has pegged cost to demolish at approximately $60,000. A contingency of an additional $10,000 is recommended since some remedial work will be needed to at least one adjacent building with a wall exposed.

It should be noted that the city was not responsible for neglecting the maintenance of these building.

They were inherited in a vacant state following the long tax arrears process over several years.

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