Demolition of Ledo Hotel to begin early next week

Site was acquired by city for redevelopment plan

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Downtown renewal is well underway, with the demolition of the former Ledo Hotel set to begin Monday.

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The city said Tuesday demolition is set to begin on Jan. 8 “and is expected to take four weeks to complete.”

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Preparations to ready the site for demolition are currently underway.

The Ledo property is one of a number that was acquired by the city late last year to advance downtown redevelopment. 

“The historic investment is an important step as city council considers a new build or a refurbished arena in the downtown,” the city said in a release. 

Mayor Paul Lefebvre announced in October the city had spent about $12.5 million to purchase several downtown properties, including Golden Grain Bakery on Brady Street; a rooming house at the corner of Shaughnessy and Van Horne streets; Alexandria’s Restaurant at 211 Shaughnessy St.; an auto detailing shop at 222 Minto St.; Old Rock Roastery at 212 Minto St.; and The DogHouse on Romanet Lane. 

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Last June, council voted in favour of purchasing the former Ledo Hotel, as well as parking lots at 308 Elgin St. and 233 Shaughnessy St. and a small cluster of apartment buildings at Shaughnessy and Elgin Streets (those costs were included in the $12.5 million total). Lefebvre said at the time the plan was to demolish the buildings to make way for new projects.

“Hoping the private sector steps up and buys those properties around, demolishes them and builds something new — that is way too risky, it will never happen,” Lefebvre told The Star in October. “That is why, as a city, we needed to step in. We want that sector to be redeveloped with residential housing, commercial opportunities, a hotel and convention centre — whatever that looks like. We’ve already heard from the private sector they’re excited by what this could be and what it could look like, now that we are investing in ourselves.”

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Golden Grain baked their last loaves on Dec. 3 and the building is now boarded up. Old Rock poured their final cup of coffee — at their current location — on Dec. 23. 

The proprietors of the popular cafe said on Facebook they plan to re-open later this year.

“In preparation for our transition to a new location, the storefront will be closed as of Dec. 24 indefinitely. Online orders will be maintained during the transition period — December to June,” they wrote. “Keep checking social media in the coming months on the next steps of Old Rock 2.0.”

Plans are currently underway to expropriate Wacky Wings at 187 Shaughnessy St. if an agreement cannot be reached. 

As the city explained in its expropriation policy (tinyurl.com/5n6u6bze), it has the power to expropriate where necessary, “which is the taking of land without the consent of an owner; however, it is our policy to acquire land for municipal needs by attempting to reach an acceptable agreement with the property owner and all other parties having an interest in the land. Tenants, mortgagees and possibly others have a right to assert a claim for their separate interests.”

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The municipality noted compensation takes into consideration the market value of the land; damages attributable to disturbance; damages for injurious affection; and any special difficulties in relocation.

The acquisitions were funded through the events centre capital account, a $200-million loan the city borrowed under former mayor Brian Bigger, largely for two major projects — an events centre and the Junction East.

Rather than building a new facility, in November council voted to move forward with the establishment of a cultural hub at Tom Davies Square. It will include the Art Gallery of Sudbury, the main branch of the public library, as well as the Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association. It was a near-unanimous decision. Only Ward 2 Coun. Michael Vagnini and Ward 11 Coun. Bill Leduc voted against the hub. Vagnini said he believes the city should address its needs — including roads and infrastructure — before its wants. Ward 3 Coun. Gerry Montpellier was absent from the meeting for health reasons.

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During the demolition of the Ledo Hotel, lane and sidewalk closures will ensure the safety of motorists and pedestrians. Closures will include the following:

  • The eastbound lane of Van Horne Street will be closed from Minto Street to Shaughnessy Street;
  • The westbound lane on Elgin Street will be closed from Van Horne Street to Shaughnessy Street, including the adjacent sidewalk; and
  • Romanet Lane will be closed in both directions from Van Horne Street to Elgin Street.

In an effort to divert waste from the landfill, materials will be segregated during the demolition process and placed in separate bins to maximize recycling.

“The demolition of surrounding buildings in the same block will follow soon after the completion of the Ledo demolition,” the city added. “Checks of the vacant buildings are being carried out regularly to ensure they are not being occupied.”

For more information on the downtown renewal plan, please go to tinyurl.com/yt4whv8f.

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