Process to demolish Gastown’s Winters Hotel building begins on Tuesday

THE City of Vancouver will start the process to demolish the Winters Hotel building today (Tuesday).

Demolition equipment is expected to arrive later in the day at the Abbott Street and Water Street location, and dismantling the building will begin Wednesday morning and is expected to be completed late on Thursday, April 21.

The City said on Tuesday that it will make every effort to finish the demolition as quickly as possible, with all safety precautions in place, as it appreciates this is a significant disruption to residents and businesses.

The earliest estimate for the reopening of buildings, streets and sidewalks following the demolition cleanup is Friday, April 22. In the meantime, businesses in Gastown are able to operate as normal, with the exception of businesses within the zone adjacent to the Winters Hotel building that has been secured.

The City is supporting businesses with units in the 203 Abbott building during this time. A third party engineering assessment was completed on Tuesday morning and the City will work directly with the affected businesses to attempt to retrieve items from their units where possible.

While measures will be taken to contain dust and debris created by the demolition work, the City is advising everyone to stay well clear of the demolition site at all times.

The City will be actively monitoring air quality throughout the demolition process, and the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services will be on-site to keep dust to a minimum by hosing down the area and neighbouring buildings.

It is recommended that businesses and residents near the Winters Hotel close all windows, turn off all vents and move items inside before the demolition begins.

Here is what local residents and businesses can expect:

  • Power outage: For the safety of crews and the public, power will be disconnected to some buildings for a portion of Wednesday so that electricity to the building is off. Power will be turned back on as soon as is safe to do so. BC Hydro has directly notified impacted customers.
  • Road closures: Abbott Street is fully closed for the time being between Water Street and Blood Alley, and this closure will be extended from Blood Alley to Cordova Street on Tuesday. There may be additional road closures in the area to accommodate equipment and removal of materials. These will be clearly communicated and signposted.
  • Noise: A large excavator and other equipment will be running, and there will be sounds from falling debris. There will be no jack hammering.
  • Hours: In order to complete the demolition as quickly as possible, the crew will be operating outside of regular business hours, so people should expect noise into the evening.
  • Fencing: Fences and signage will be in place to restrict key areas and set a distance from closed areas during the demolition process.

The City’s goal is to complete the work and cleanup as soon as possible to allow businesses and residents to safely return to the area.

The CIity said updates or changes to the details above will be provided via future media bulletins.