Build­ing con­cern closes Main Street

Sta­bil­ity of build­ing trig­gered col­lapse con­cerns

Tri-County Vanguard - - FRONT PAGE - TINA COMEAU

A block of Main Street in Yar­mouth was closed to traf­fic and pedes­tri­ans last week over con­cern of the sta­bil­ity of a build­ing that is more than a cen­tury old. As the bar­ri­cades went up the town said it didn’t know if the build­ing may col­lapse, but it wasn’t tak­ing any chances un­til it knew the ex­tent of the sit­u­a­tion.

“Safety first,” said Yar­mouth Mayor Pam Mood on Aug. 3 as the fire depart­ment and RCMP were on the scene block­ing off ac­cess to the sec­tion of Main Street run­ning be­tween Cen­tral and Brown streets.

At the time Mayor Mood said the town didn’t know how much risk, if any, was posed by the build­ing, but the town wanted to en­sure it was proac­tive un­til a more thor­ough in­spec­tion of the build­ing was car­ried out. Busi­nesses in the closed sec­tion were told they had to stay closed.

En­gi­neers, af­ter this news­pa­per’s dead­line, in­spected the build­ing. (Due to the civic hol­i­day on Mon­day this news­pa­per had an ear­lier week­end dead­line. For up­dates to this story visit our web­site www.

The mayor said last week the town’s in­spec­tor de­tected an is­sue that caused con­cern when he was in­spect­ing the build­ing. The build­ing, which has been va­cant for at least a cou­ple of years, has been un­der­go­ing ren­o­va­tion work. The ground floor win­dows have been ad­ver­tis­ing that a new busi­ness is mov­ing into the ground floor.

The town said it ap­peared there may have been some dam­age to the build­ing as a re­sult of the work be­ing car­ried out. Mayor Mood said they don’t blame the owner of the build­ing for the sit­u­a­tion. She said the town is pleased to see work be­ing done to a build­ing that has been empty for years.

“We ap­pre­ci­ate the owner do­ing all this work to the build­ing,” she said. “But it is an old build­ing.”

A date on the ex­te­rior of the build­ing reads 1893.

This isn’t the first time this build­ing has been on the town’s radar. The mayor said they hired en­gi­neers in the past to ex­am­ine it when it was un­der dif­fer­ent own­er­ship. At the time it was deemed that the build­ing posed no dan­ger.

But given what hap­pened 15 years ago along­side the build­ing, Mayor Mood said the town didn’t want to take any chances. The mayor was re­fer­ring to the col­lapse of the old Odeon theatre that hap­pened in Au­gust 2002. That col­lapse had ac­tu­ally dam­aged the north wall of the build­ing that is now un­der scru­tiny.

As to how long the street would be blocked off, the mayor said it would be days.

“It could be a week,” she said on the day the bar­ri­ers went up, say­ing the work and in­spec­tions that need to be car­ried out can’t be rushed.

“We com­pletely un­der­stand the frus­tra­tions of peo­ple. But let’s be pa­tient,” she said. “Safety first.”


Con­cerns over the sta­bil­ity of this build­ing at 305 Main Street forced a clo­sure of Main Street last week.


Bar­ri­cades went up last Thurs­day around Main Street and sec­tion of the down­town to pre­vent pub­lic ac­cess close to a build­ing that was cause for con­cern.

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