September 26, 2021

More than one month after its demolition, the Preston Springs Hotel is once again the topic of choice at Cambridge City Council after the Architecture Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) petitioned for an independent inquiry into the building’s “demolition by neglect.”

In attendance were Dennis Purcell, the Chief Building Officer of the City of Cambridge who issued the emergency demolition order, and Michelle Goodridge, a resident of Fountain St. where the hotel was formerly located and a member of ACO.

Purcell justified the building’s demolition, citing reasons such as structural deterioration, ongoing vandalism, trespassing, and general security issues: He also noted that “there was a determined faction in the community that continued to break into the building putting their lives at risk.”

“Four teenagers were observed the night before demolition who started running from within the structure towards Shantz Hill,” said Purcell.

Goodridge then noted that reports advocated for the hotel’s restoration as a heritage site, arguing that Purcell’s justification was flawed.

Goodridge also found issues with the demolition practice and how it was rushed despite an impending injunction. This included noticing that asbestos was present in the demolition.

“Protesters advocates spectators and residents were not informed of this hazard,” said Goodridge.

Photo by Mike Reitmeier // The demolition of the Preston Springs Hotel has been completed: All that remains is equipment and the vestige of the foundation.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled the names of Dennis Purcell and Michelle Goodridge.

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