Province House at risk of 'partial collapse,' report warns

Province House suffers from major structural issues that threaten the 167-year-old building.

Repairs should start by 2015, Parks Canada paper says

Province House is closed for repairs now. (CBC)

Province House suffers from major structural issues that threaten the 167-year-old building with partial collapse, a new report says. 

The historic building is closed for a few months to fix falling plaster. The report on the Charlottetown landmark was ordered two years ago by Parks Canada.

Without a comprehensive program integrating all of the issues, "the building would become increasingly unstable, with an increasing potential for partial collapse,” the report warns.

The report says:

  • the foundation and basement walls are in fair to poor condition
  • the exterior walls are unstable
  • the roof leaks
  • parts of the floor supports are in bad shape

The building also has water seeping inside, which affects the overall stability of the building.

Parks Canada spent $1.8 million last year on outside masonry and interior structural repairs.

The report, prepared by Taylor Hazell Architects, says stabilizing is a temporary solution. Without a long-term plan, the building will continue to deteriorate.

It says work should begin next year.

Ghiz says it's worth the money

Premier Robert Ghiz said the building is safe to work in and visit.

“It's going to need anywhere between $10 [million] to $15 million in upgrades. While that may seem like huge dollars today, obviously if we want to maintain our historical integrity, we need to make sure the dollars get put in to maintaining these structures all across our country,” he said.

The legislature resumes sitting this spring. The building is also a major part of the 2014 celebrations

Parks Canada told CBC News it will comment on the report Tuesday. 

Province House, built in 1847, still houses the provincial legislature.

It is also a national historic site because it hosted the Charlottetown Conference in 1864, the first of a series of meetings that led to Confederation.