Nova Scotia

Demolition of Young Avenue mansion halted over safety concerns

The property in Halifax has been at the centre of controversy as a neighbourhood group tries to save it from a developer's wrecking ball.

Cleveland Estate has been the centre of controversy as neighbours try to save it from the wrecking ball

A stop work order has been issued for the Cleveland Estate demolition. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Demolition of a large home called the Cleveland Estate — also known as the wedding cake house — on Young Avenue in Halifax is temporarily on hold after an occupational health and safety officer discovered safety issues at the site.

The property has been at the centre of controversy as a neighbourhood group tries to save it from a developer's wrecking ball.

Department of Labour spokesman Andrew Preeper said an OHS officer responded to an anonymous complaint about the demolition project at 851 Young Avenue on Monday.

The officer issued a stop work order, as well as orders requiring fall protection, and appropriate safety and respiratory protection for workers.

The officer also asked that tests be carried out to determine whether there are any hazardous materials on site, Preeper said.

In an email, he said the stop work order will remain in effect until the officer is satisfied that "all safety issues have been appropriately dealt with," and test results come back regarding the presence of hazardous materials.

Michael Moore, the lawyer for the man who owns the property, George Tsimiklis, said his client does not wish to comment.

Heritage application takes time

A number of local residents have formed a group called Save Young Avenue after some of the older houses on the street were sold to developers.

Group members are calling on city councillors to grant the Cleveland Estate property heritage status.

On April 27, Halifax city councillors voted to move the Cleveland Estate property ahead of three other properties awaiting heritage status designation.

At the time, Matt Whitman, a heritage advisory committee member and Halifax's deputy mayor, said a staff report was required for the heritage application to go through — and that would take time.

A crew of workers remove the stone wall surrounding the Cleveland Estate on April 27. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)