The City of Kitchener has ordered the demolition of the Mayfair Hotel in the downtown "because of significant structural issues identified by two separate structural engineer's reports," according to a release.

"The Order was issued because of significant structural issues identified by two separate structural engineer's reports. According to a report by MTE Consultants, hired to do an independent assessment by the City, some of the structural deficiencies pose 'immediate life safety concerns,'" the city said in a Thursday release.

"Additionally, the MTE report indicates 'the building is in an unsafe and unstable condition' that requires immediate attention given the location of the building and the pedestrian and vehicular traffic around the property. This came to light as a result of a water service break on the weekend."

The basement of the historic property on King St. W. and Young St. was flooded on Saturday after an underground pipe between the city valve and the foundation wall broke, the city said.

After city officials inspected the flooding, they asked the owner to hire a structural engineer to examine the wall, which was damaged. Officials noticed a large crack in the foundation wall.

"This crack is 12 inches high and it's at least four feet long. This is a substantial. This is a significant difference than a hairline crack in someone's foundation wall of their home," said Mike Seiling, the city's director of building and chief building official.

The city also hired MTE to assess the building, and both consultants agreed there were "numerous structural deficiencies" that may have endangered the lives of workers hired to conduct repairs.

Demolition of the building is "the only viable option for eliminating the hazardous and unsafe conditions and limiting the risks to both workers and the public," the city said. 

Staff and the owner will work together to try and salvage important heritage features, such as the metal balustrade from the main staircase and some brick from the building for use on a future development at the site, the city said.

The owner, Bernie, has until Tuesday to apply for a permit to demolish the building.