Lyceum Theatre building to avoid wrecking ball

The former Lyceum Theatre building on Cumberland Street North will remain standing, where it has for the past 104 years.

104-year-old building remains structurally sound

Thunder Bay Lyceum Theatre building, old and current photo merge (CBC)

The former Lyceum Theatre builing on Cumberland Street North will remain standing, where it has for the past 104 years.

City councillors reviewed a new engineering report Monday night stating the building is structurally sound, after the city's development services department had previously issued orders declaring it unsafe.

"Based on the original engineering report, we thought demolishing the building was the likely scenario," said Mark Smith, the city's manager of development services. "That's why we posted the orders that we did."

"What it said was that within a year, it was expected that the building would have to be demolished. So, the second study really confirmed that the property hasn't deteriorated with the speed the first engineer thought it might."

'It can be repaired'

Councillor Larry Hebert says the city will repair the building's roof, which is the main reason the building is in such bad shape.

"Once we stop the water from coming in there, the rest can be cleaned up. Inside, it's a terrible mess, in terms of mould and things like that," he said. "But, we've got to prevent the water from getting in there, so we've got to repair the roof."

The cost of the repairs are unknown. The repair bill will be added onto the building's property taxes.

"It's the old wooden roof that's basically collapsed," Hebert said.

The building's taxes are also in arrears, and it is expected to be put up for a tax sale by next summer.

Work on the property will begin in a couple of months.