Charlottetown council gives approval to demolish eight buildings

Dave Stewart dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on December 17, 2015

A Charlottetown woman is dismayed that the building she lives in is facing the wrecking ball.

Eight homes close to the city’s downtown, said to be deteriorating rapidly, face destruction after city council voted unanimously on Monday night to allow developer Philip O’Halloran to demolish a series of properties on Chestnut and Passmore streets, just off Queen Street and University Avenue.

“It’s an absolute shame,’’ said Darlene Quinn, who rents a ground floor apartment in one of the properties targeted for demolition. “I love it here. It’s been a great place to stay.’’

Coun. Greg Rivard, chairman of the city’s planning and heritage committee, said the structures are in bad shape.

The city says six of the eight homes are not occupied.

Residents in the two that are occupied have been notified and efforts are underway to find new accommodations.

CLICK HERE TO SEE A LIST OF THE PROPERTIES THAT WILL BE DEMOLISHED

Plans are to redevelop the area with a mix of residential and commercial space. No date has been set for demolition.

Rivard said he toured the buildings with O’Halloran and area city Coun. Mitchell Tweel and agrees they’re in bad shape.

“They were almost ready to fall down and I guess the concern from the applicant was these homes are an invitation to folks who are looking to get out of the cold in winter time . . . but they weren’t safe,’’ Rivard said. “He felt there was a liability there and this was a reason he wanted them torn down immediately.’’

Quinn, 53, who has lived in the area since she was six years old, says she has disability issues and needs a low-income place to live.

She uses a cane to move around although a wheelchair sits across the room.

“I need a place with wheelchair accessibility, a subsidized place. I can’t climb stairs,’’ Quinn says. “There needs to be more housing for low-income people.’’

During The Guardian’s visit with Quinn, Matthew O’Halloran, Philip’s brother who handles landlord duties, checks in on her before shovelling snow outside.

Matthew says he’s trying hard to find Quinn a good spot. It’s clear the two have a good rapport.

“He is so good to me,’’ Quinn says after he leaves. “I love that boy like a son.’’

Tweel said the buildings need to come down.

“I believe the lifespan of these buildings has come to an end,’’ Tweel said.

As for timelines, Rivard said specifics about O’Halloran’s plans should become clear within the next two months.

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

It’s an absolute shame. Darlene Quinn

Charlottetown city council approved a request to demolish the following properties:

- 51 Chestnut Street

- 57 Chestnut Street

- 59 Chestnut Street

- 61 Chestnut Street

- 18 Passmore Street

- 26-30 Passmore Street

- 32 Passmore Street

- 34 Passmore Street.