VANCOUVER — Vancouver says its notorious Balmoral Hotel has got to go.
The city announced the 105-year-old building will be demolished after several engineering reports concluded it is not safe.
“The building poses a risk of injury to the public and persons adjacent to the building in the event of a fire or similar incident,” reads a statement. “Despite the city’s ongoing efforts to maintain the safety of the building, the decades of underinvestment and mismanagement by the building’s previous owners was irreversible.”
The city received two third party engineering reports on fire and structural risks. The reports stated the building has deteriorated to a point that it endangers the public and nearby structures.
Demolition planning has begun. City officials noted because of the age, complexity and condition of the building, demolition could take months.
“The city is actively working to engage contractors to scope and complete this work,” reads the statement. “Once the demolition and environmental cleanup is accomplished, the city will activate the vacant site until the time it is redeveloped to create new affordable housing in partnership with BC Housing.”
The hotel has long been a safety concern.
In 2017 it was evacuated after engineers found it to be structurally unsound. The city expropriated the property in 2020 in a deal with its owners.
The city said it settled with the owners in order to avoid a judicial review which could have resulted in claims for greater compensation. Officials also wanted to get the planning and community engagement process for the future of the properties started as quickly as possible.