The nearly two dozen people who were forced out of their homes in Chinatown overnight after a building under renovation partially collapsed have since been allowed to return home.
Emergency crews were called to 365-367 Spadina Ave. near Cecil Street just before 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The building is owned by the Yonge Street Mission.
The building – which has apartments on the two upper floors and commercial properties on the ground floor – was deemed unsafe by an engineer after the incident. Toronto police said the roof partially collapsed.
On Tuesday, police said the two buildings next door were not safe for residents to occupy. Around 20 people from those adjacent buildings were forced out of their homes, but were giving the all-clear to return on Wednesday morning.
Iris Ibarra, a spokesperson with the Yonge Street Mission, told 680 NEWS the plan is have to combine 365-367 Spadina into one building and move their youth drop-in centre on Yonge Street into the new building.
Police said the renovation was being done without a permit, but Ibarra said all the proper paperwork was in place for the project.
“In terms of having all of our boxes checked, we were approved to do all of this. We have all of the right permits in place from the City of Toronto in order to start this project,” Ibarra said.
She said the plan involves demolishing everything except the foundation and building a new youth drop-in centre on top of that foundation.
“We are working to build it all up again. We are all planning on having it built brand new, which is why we are demolishing it. We do want to make sure we have a state-of-the-art building when we are ready to open to the street youth,” Ibarra said.
She said the project developers are working with the Ministry of Labour to determine the integrity of the structure.
Ibarra said the demolition started at the beginning of the year and that the new building is expected to be ready near the end of the year. However, it is not clear how the setback will affect the move-in date.
With files from Charlene Close