Skip to content

Woodlands demolition delayed for a month

City postpones work so that former residents can make plans to attend

Demolition day for the Centre Block tower is being postponed to give former Woodlands residents and advocates a chance to attend.

Mayor Wayne Wright said the date of the deconstruction has been delayed to allow former residents to attend.

"This is turning out to be a real cleansing thing. I am really happy about it," he said. "I think it's very important. Let's put some closure to it."

Some advocacy organizations voiced concern that a proposed date of Sept. 19 didn't give people living outside of Metro Vancouver enough time to make plans to attend the demolition.

John Stark, the city's senior social planner, said the demolition will get under way on Tuesday, Oct. 18. He said some organizations were concerned that more time was needed to give out-of-province people time to make plans to attend the event.

"The program is in development," he said. "With regard to advocates and former residents, they are having a say in what that program is. We are looking for ways they could have some involvement with the demolition. We are looking at what that could be. It will likely be symbolic."

Because of liability concerns, former residents and advocates may not be allowed to get too close to the demolition.

"It's not going to be a slow dismantling of the tower," Stark added. "I understand it will be quite quick."

A Centre Block tower task force has been meeting to discuss various issues relating to the tower, such as removal and disposal of the tower foundation, the creation of a passive green space or garden on the tower site and themes for interpretive panels that will be displayed at the site.

Stark said the task force has determined that all materials from the Centre Block tower demolition will be taken away from the site and will not be salvaged or reused.

The task force has yet to decide on the fate of brick and stone materials that were previously salvaged from the building and have been stockpiled at the site.

Earlier this year, city council endorsed a plan that would see up to four interpretative panels displayed at the site.

Stark said the task force is trying to be sensitive and ensure that whatever is done at the site is done in a sensitive and respectful manner.