City officials won't know until Monday how to repair the damage caused to the Whalen Building — a historical structure hit by lightning Wednesday afternoon. An engineering firm will figure out how to replace the turret at the top of the building.

Michael Smith, the city's manager of facilities and fleet, said the damage is repairable.


Michael Smith, the city's manager of facilities and fleet, looks over the rubble leftover from a lightning strike on the Whalen Building.

"We have some ongoing work going on as we speak," he said. Currently a contractor is in the midst of millions in reconstruction on the outside of the building.   

"This year, the city's invested quite a few dollars to … bring up the façade. So certainly we'll be able to look at replacing what was there."

Smith said it's the first time he knows of any city building being hit by lightning. He says insurance should cover most of the repair costs.

Thunder Bay Heritage Advisory committee chair Andrew Cotter said the committee is concerned about the building, but is more thankful that no one was injured.

"Some large chunks fell off that building [and] damaged some cars," Cotter said.

"Thankfully none of those workers were injured. They've done a lot of work to preserve that building."