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Partial roof collapse in Toronto forces evacuation

DCN News Services
Partial roof collapse in Toronto forces evacuation

TORONTO — The roof of a commercial building under renovation in Toronto partially collapsed July 11 prompting the evacuation of local residents amid fears of poor structural integrity.

The partial roof collapse occurred in an unoccupied building in the area of Spadina Avenue and College Street at about 7 p.m.

Although no injuries were reported, 20 people who live on either side of the building were evacuated as officials reported the integrity of the units had been compromised. The streets in the area were closed for public safety, said Caroline de Kloet, media relations officer with the Toronto Police Service, adding police are assisting with the investigation.

"Police were approached by a woman from a residence there saying that one of the walls in her home felt like it was an earthquake that occurred in her building," said de Kloet. "So we attended, inspected and the fire department was on scene. Later we had information from somebody else that a roof had collapsed in the Spadina and College area and that the address was being renovated."

Captain Michael Westwood of the Toronto Fire Service said the department was called to 367 Spadina at 7:21 p.m.

"There was a partial roof collapse and it looks like it was caused by renovations going on that did not have a building permit," said Westwood. "The building (where the roof collapsed) is structurally unsafe…We’ve cleared the scene so it’s not in our hands anymore. It’s up to the building’s owners and the city’s building department."

City of Toronto building engineers and structural trades staff were also on scene and continue to investigate.

A Ministry of Labour inspector and engineer also attended the scene but no orders or requirements had been issued and the investigation remained ongoing, the ministry told the Daily Commercial news in an email July 12.

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