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Nearby residents, business evacuated; concerns with Royal Hotel foundation and wall

Photo of east wall of Royal Hotel courtesy James Lowery.

Coach’s Pub and residents living in apartments above were evacuated late Wednesday following structural concerns with the east wall of Picton’s Royal Hotel.

A failure in the foundation and brick wall has caused a portion to buckle. An area below a window to the foundation  is cracked and sunken (see photos below).

Mayor Robert Quaiff said the County had to issue an “Unsafe Building Order” to the owners of Coachs to ensure the building stays vacated until the issue is resolved.

“The Ministry of Labor has also been notified,” he said. “And a recovery plan by engineers is being discussed this evening (Wednesday).

A danger sign noting ‘no entry, closed until further notice’ has been posted at the parking lot end of the walkway between the two buildings. The Main Street end is blocked by a wooden barricade.

Official comment is as yet unavailable.

At the end of March, a crane was brought in to remove shoring towers as part of the redevelopment.

Restoration work under way for the historic building, includes the brickwork, wood cornice and installation of new windows. The hotel was constructed circa 1881. It has been vacant for many years, resulting in significant deterioration. Character defining elements too severely deteriorated to repair are being replaced with new elements that match original forms, materials and detailing.

-James Lowery photo

-James Lowery photo

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  1. Renia Tyminski says:

    An eerie reminder of the opening scene in Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman”, which played across the street at the Regent a couple of weeks ago. The impact fans out in all sorts of directions.

  2. Marnie says:

    So, adding your name to your comments makes them “informed” Dennis? There are several good reasons for not including a name. It in no way invalidates the writer’s opinion. Even the names that do appear could be fictitious in some cases.

  3. Susan says:

    Both Fred and Barney made reasonable comments. Yubba Dubba Duh!!

  4. Dennis Fox says:

    Old Local – I don’t buy into your excuse, but I can understand your point. However, no excuse is reason for uninformed opinions.

  5. Old Local says:

    @ Dennis, Not everyone is able to speak openly on these forums without financial consequences. Say you have a retail business in town and you are strong liberal supporter and really like the idea of turbines. You just lost 1/2 your customers who are Conservatives. And half of your remaining customers don’t want turbines. Notice almost no retailers comment here or put up election signs on their businesses. It’s a lose lose no matter what you say !

  6. Dennis Fox says:

    Writers who use the name of a cartoon character should not be allowed any comments – they hide behind the mask of anonymity and say the craziest things!

  7. Brenda McKay says:

    I hope everything works out for everyone. Owner/Construction company must have insurance.
    What a sad day in the history of Picton.

  8. Fred Flinstone says:

    Relax Dennis, not your issue. Business loss of income insurance, tenants insurance and builders risk insurance will work it out.

  9. Barney Rubble says:

    In Belleville they would have the Chief Building Inspector “inspecting” and commenting on the status of the building. In Picton we have a Mayoral photo op. Where is our building department?

  10. Dennis Fox says:

    Income loss insurance is still paid by someone – and no doubt once a claim is filed their insurance rates go up – money out of their pockets, on top of lost income. But it is more than just an inconvenience to the business owner – how about the employees who depend on that job for their income, or the residents who are now out of their home for an unknown period of time? This goes far beyond customers not being able to order a beer. Also let’s not forget the potential danger this presents to the construction workers as well. The Ministry of Labour will also determine if this site can be safely worked on. Let’s hope this matter can be quickly resolved and work can continue – but who knows?

  11. Susan says:

    It’s all covered under income loss on the insurance policy. Why so excited? Someone missing their regular beverage is not generally covered as a loss! Lol

  12. james says:

    Perhaps now is the time for businesses on Main St. to be compensated for the construction fiasco this Summer, including those who were forced to close, while it is now time to compensate Coach’s for lost business.

    Coach’s, as a sports bar, must be compensated for losses during hockey playoffs, the Baseball season, Raptors’ playoff series, European football, music entertainment that draws people (check the full houses Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays), diners who come in for daily meals without concern for sports events.

    Are workers at Coach’s going to be compensated for lost wages? Are suppliers going to be compensated for lost sales? It strikes me that with Royal Hotel developers having the ear of provincial Liberals and PEC Council, it might be possible that they could milk this redevelopment project for whatever they can and then walk.

    After demonstrating allegiance for developers, it is time for PEC Council to step up to fend for the little people at Coach’s. I for one will always support Coach’s, an establishment for the ordinary man, but will never patronize The Royal.

  13. Janet says:

    From what we understand, other than Coach’s, only 2 people have been evacuated. They now have accommodation, temporarily, but life has been chaos for them for the past 24 plus hours. They hope that all their expenses will be reimbursed, eventually. It has been very, very stressful for them.

  14. Barb says:

    Wow So sad to hear about this! Such an old Historic building! Have to wonder if the structure of this building was thoroughly checked to prevent this horrible incident!

  15. wevil says:

    should have been torn down to begin with and the bricks used to face a totally new

  16. Dennis Fox says:

    Like many, I have been looking forward to the restored hotel – I hope it can be saved. But our first concerns should be for the surrounding businesses and residents – what happens to them in the meantime? As we already know, finding a place to live is not an easy task in this community. I hope the owner of the Royal steps up to help them.

  17. Debbie C. says:

    That is terrible.

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