Ottawa

Crews begin partial demolition of historic Magee House

The City of Ottawa has issued an emergency order to demolish part of the decades-old Hintonburg building that partially collapsed earlier this week.

Demolition of southwest corner and part of roof began Friday evening

Crews tear down the roof and southwest corner of Magee House, a 19th-century building that partially collapsed on July 27,2018. (Reno Patry/CBC)

The City of Ottawa's chief building official has issued an emergency order to demolish part of a 19th-century Hintonburg building that partially collapsed earlier this week.

The southwest corner and a portion of the roof — deemed the most unsafe parts of the remaining structure at 1119 Wellington St. W. — are being demolished by Priestly Demolition Inc. in the interest of public safety, Frank Bidin has ruled.

Crews began tearing down those sections of the building, known as Magee House, at around 7 p.m. Friday.

The demolition, recommended by the engineering firm John Cooke and Associates, will "allow for a more thorough assessment of the remaining building," the city said in a news release.

When it's done the city will determine whether the affected portion of Wellington Street W. can re-open to traffic. The north sidewalk will remain closed for now.

Crews begin partial demolition of historic Magee House

3 years ago
Duration 1:17
The City of Ottawa issued an emergency order to demolish part of a 19th-century Hintonburg building that partially collapsed earlier this week. 1:17

Costs unknown

The cost of the demolition hasn't yet been determined, Bidin wrote in an emailed statement, but the city will seek to be reimbursed by the building's owner, architect Ovidio Sbrissa.

Demolition work on heritage buildings like Magee House typically requires a heritage permit and city council approval, but because the remaining building poses a "significant public hazard," permission wasn't required, the city said.

The west wall of the building came down Tuesday for reasons so far unknown.

Sbrissa had been living in the house and was out getting pizza with a neighbour at the time of the collapse. He said that doing so probably saved his life.

An update on the building is expected at the built heritage sub-committee meeting Aug. 2.

Magee House, a 19th-century building located at 1119 Wellington Street W. in Ottawa's Hintonburg neighbourhood, partially collapsed on July 24, 2018. (Scott Stilborn/Ottawa Fire Services)

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