Demolition continues on Preston Springs Hotel after short delay due to court injunction
KITCHENER -- Demolition has started again on the Preston Springs Hotel after a delay due to a court injunction.
Crews started working at 8 a.m. and stopped shortly after noon due to the injunction.
However, the Architectural Conservancy Ontario (ACO) Cambridge and North Dumfries said demolition ultimately continued because the partial demolition was unsafe.
"Circumstances shifted rapidly, and the consequence is that the city will finish the demolition despite the ACO branch’s best efforts to preserve the designated landmark," a news release from the ACO read in part.
The injunction was supposed to delay demolition for one week.
The building is protected under the heritage act, but an emergency order issued on Christmas Eve overrides that act.
The order said the hotel would need to come down due to serious safety concerns.
In a statement, Chief Building Official Dennis Purcell said the City of Cambridge didn't receive notice from the ACO about the application brought forward in relation to the hotel.
"Earlier today, I was informed of a potential court challenge and, in good faith, halted demolition activity to more fully understand the situation," his statement said in part. "Since that time, I have been informed that the ACO has abandoned its application for an order to stop the demolition."
Purcell added he understood concerns from heritage advocates.
"Preserving heritage is important and valuable to the community but not at the expense of public safety, and any further delay to the demolition of the building increased the possibility of someone being seriously injured or killed," he said in the statement.
On Tuesday, crews began removing hazardous materials and salvaging any items of heritage value.
Officials with the City of Cambridge said the intersection of King and Fountain Streets closed in preparation for demolition work over the next few days. Crews have removed items of heritage significance like the entrance door, a fountain and mosaic tiles.
The former hotel has been on the chopping block for some time, but the call to tear it down did not come from city council.
Many gathered at the site on Wednesday afternoon, saying they will be sad to see it go.
"I drive by this building every single day," said Terry Miller. "It's going to be sad and I think the worst part is watching it degrade over time."
"Once that building is gone, Preston is changed forever," resident Barry Nornore said.
The demolition is expected to last three to five days.