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650 Parliament move-in date pushed back to 2020

Last Updated Nov 8, 2019 at 8:29 pm EST

Toronto Fire at 650 Parliament St., where a fire broke out on July 10, 2019. CITYNEWS/George Joseph

Residents of 650 Parliament, who have been out of their homes for over 16 months, will have to wait even longer to move back into the building.

Officials from the building released a statement Friday saying they hoped to announce re-occupancy details in early 2020.

In an update in August, Danny Roth, a spokesperson for Wellesley-Parliament Square (WPSQ) management, said re-occupancy was expected to commence “later this fall.” At the time, work in the building was around 65 per cent complete.

The newest statement says they have completed the rebuilding of the mechanical and electrical systems and are now in the final stages of cosmetic work which includes painting, tiling and carpeting.

They have also met with Toronto city officials to review the current status of work and to discuss the steps to obtain a re-occupancy permit.

“Toronto City officials have given us every confidence that they will provide the resources to allow us to secure the necessary approvals and permits required, as soon as possible,” read the statement.

More than 1,500 people were displaced in July 2018 after an electrical fire caused severe damage throughout the entire building.

It was determined back in September that the fire was caused by by a “catastrophic failure” of the building’s electrical system, which then caused an explosion in the electrical room.

Lawyers for the residents have filed a class-action lawsuit against building management to get compensation for expenses and other losses.

After the fire at 650 Parliament and a basement flood at nearby 260 Wellesley St. E., Mayor John Tory ordered a comprehensive series of inspections would be carried out in apartment buildings in St. James Town and other areas around the city.