Cape Breton hoarder's house finally falls to the wrecking ball

A self-professed hoarder from Cape Breton watched Wednesday night as her North Sydney house was demolished, despite her insistence that she complied with every municipal order to clean it up and make it structurally sound.

Municipal inspectors determined North Sydney house was structurally unsound, rife with mould

Sylvia Dolomont's house in North Sydney was demolished Wednesday. (Gary Mansfield/CBC)

A self-professed hoarder from Cape Breton watched Wednesday night as her North Sydney house was demolished, despite her insistence that she complied with every municipal order to clean it up and make it structurally sound.

A notice was sent to Sylvia Dolomont, 70, earlier this week by the solicitor for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality indicating demolition was imminent.

Dolomont's one-storey bungalow on Campbell Street had been the subject of neighbours' complaints about odour and rodents, dating back to 2008.

It was on CBRM's list of unsightly premises, meaning it was slated to be torn down. Dolomont, though, was successful in getting regional council to give her several extensions so she'd have time for the cleanup and renovations.

A before and after of the Campbell Street home. (Gary Mansfield/CBC)

Until recently, she wasn't able to follow through, but she said this week she had finally done everything that had been asked of her.

However, municipal inspectors determined the house had become structurally unsound and was rife with mould.

Dolomont was ordered several months ago to have an environmental assessment done on the property. She said she booked the appointment after the demolition order was issued.

"We had an environmentalist coming on Nov. 10. That was $2,550; I had him all booked," she said. "We couldn't get him right away.

A photo taken inside the house hours before demolition began. (Gary Mansfield/CBC)

"I don't know why they're tearing down a house that there's nothing wrong. How can they tear a house down if there's nothing wrong with it?"

No one from the municipality who has handled the file was available for an interview on Wednesday, but CBRM long ago determined the Campbell Street address was unlivable.

Dolomont has had to reside elsewhere for several years, but insists there are other homes worse than hers.

"There's shacks all around; everybody's talking about it. It's the talk of the CBRM," she said. "There's houses around that people shouldn't be living in. The roofs are caving in; they're falling down. They're an eyesore."

The bathroom of the Campbell Street house. (Gary Mansfield/CBC)

Dolomont cleaned out the inside of the house recently, after failing to do so for years. It has cost her $50,000 to do what the municipality wanted, she said.

Despite living in another house for many years, Dolomont insisted she had intended to restore the Campbell Street property.

"It's the home my husband build for me and our three sons. It was a house that I intended to live the rest of my days in."

Dolomont said she had planned to replace the kitchen. (Gary Mansfield/CBC)

With files from Gary Mansfield