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Saturday 9 March 2024

Another week - more historic buildings lost to fire

© 2024, Christian Cassidy

Google Street View

Another week has passed and a couple more substantial buildings have been destroyed by fire.

On Tuesday, Glenora Apartments on Toronto Street and last night the Guest Block on Main Street, (the middle building in the above photo). These weren't the only fires this week, just the largest buildings destroyed.

I'm gonna be an uppity inner-city person here and ask the question 'when do these fires raise a flag with politicians, police, etc?'

We are well past the point of it being the odd vacant house going up in flames. Over the past couple of years, substantial and inhabited buildings have gone up in flames every couple of weeks and that span seems to be getting shorter.

I can't imagine that if this was happening in St. James or East Kildonan or St. Boniface it would be greeted with what seems like just a shrug.

I'm not sure what can be done but could there be a meeting of officials to discuss ideas or if resources could be redeployed. Do we know if there are dozens of random people lighting fires annually or are we talking about a couple of firebugs responsible?

This is not normal and I don't get a sense that people in charge share that feeling or a sense that something must be done.

This isn't helped by the fact that when a big fire happens, the media will cover it because it is a great news story and the city will issue a release to warn about the traffic implications. Rarely will you ever get a follow-up story about the cause of the fire.

Are some of these fires down to wiring issues, as most tend to be century-old buildings, or is it arson? It is hard to tell.

For more about the history of the Guest Block.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I live a few blocks from there and considering my garage was broken into again today, for about the 70th time in the last decade, the 'hood is finished.
All the millions spent to help the locals are wasted on sandwiches, drinks and crash pads with nothing to show that it's helping.
Previous mayor let it all slide for 8 years and now with his right hand man in charge nothing will change.
Add in Wab's stated plan for an injection site downtown, that'll perpetuate things for another several years.