A backhoe is expected to crush the former Fat Fox Café building in Yellowknife this weekend

The building that housed the Fat Fox Café on 50 Street in Yellowknife is expected to be torn down some time over the long weekend.

Main demolition expected Sunday or Monday, says Arctic Environmental Services Ltd.

This is what the Fat Fox Café looked like on Friday. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/CBC)

The building that housed the Fat Fox Café on 50 Street in Yellowknife is expected to be torn down over the long weekend.

Arctic Environmental Services Ltd. could begin removing the back of the structure as soon as Saturday, said Robert Valleau, who owns the company.

Workers then plan to take a backhoe to the rest of the building on Sunday or Monday morning, he said, crushing it bit by bit.

That's an ideal time because CIBC, which has a parking lot next to the Fat Fox, will be closed on those days, said Valleau.

"We'll take the back end off first and then fence off the whole structure," he said. "So we would take the majority of the building down while the neighbouring parking lot is empty."

The inside of the Fat Fox Café in Yellowknife, before demolition. Robert Valleau says the building is in rough shape. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/CBC)

According to Valleau, the building is being taken down because it is old and the café had an "unstoppable" leak in its kitchen.

The floors were also heaving, and the building's structural supports are rotting, he said.

Hazardous material, including asbestos, has already been removed, as have layers of siding and paint from the building's exterior walls.

"It was like peeling an orange, going back in time," said Valleau of the job.

The siding has been stripped off of the building's walls. Robert Valleau says it was 'like peeling an orange.' (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/CBC)

The demolition isn't expected to have too much of an impact on Saigon Smoke Shop, which shares a wall with the former café.

That shared wall will be left intact, Valleau said, and the hotel that owns the smoke shop will be responsible for eventually replacing that wall with a newer structure.

Barricades will be set up for this weekend's expected demolition, and workers will be manning the sidewalks, said Valleau. However, he doesn't anticipate the work to cause road closures.

A security fence will be left up around the area once the building is torn down, and the debris is expected to be taken to the landfill by Tuesday, Valleau said.

Do you have any memories from the former Fat Fox building? Email

With files from John Last


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