Winnipeg heritage building to be demolished over ‘imminent’ risk of collapse

A heritage building in Winnipeg’s Exchange District will no longer be part of the city’s skyline because the city believes there’s an imminent risk it will collapse.

The building, called the Scott Memorial Orange Hall, is located at 216 Princess Street, between Pacific and Ross avenues. It will be demolished within the week, a city spokesperson told CBC News Friday.

“The department of planning, property and development looked at options to potentially save the facade of the building, however those actions would have taken an extended time period and the threat of collapse was deemed imminent,” the city said in an emailed statement.

The structural problems are due to a construction error, it said, though it wouldn’t say what that error was.

The hall, which was built in 1902 by local architect James McDiarmid, was slated to be renovated into condominiums.

A section of Princess Street has been closed to traffic for more than a month as the city looked at ways to fix the building.

The southbound lane of Princess Street, between Pacific and Ross avenues has been closed while the city figured out how to move forward with the Scott Memorial Orange Hall. (Travis Golby/CBC)

The city says it will reopen the street soon after the demolition happens.

It’s currently preparing for the demolition, including disconnecting hydro lines and removing street lights that are connected to the building.

The city says the adjacent buildings are structurally sound, according to an engineering review.

CBC News reached out to the owners of the building on Friday morning, but they weren’t available to comment.