Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Collapsed Mall Was Subject of Past Complaints of Leaks, Mould: Province

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Collapsed Mall Was Subject of Past Complaints of Leaks, Mould: Province

Article excerpt

Ont. mall faced complaints in past: province

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TORONTO - The Elliott Lake mall whose roof collapsed over the weekend, killing at least one person, had a history of complaints about leaks and mould going back years, according to information from the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

The ministry paid six visits to the Algo Shopping Centre over the last three years, most of which related to complaints about reported leaky pipes, a leaky roof, mould, and an unsafe escalator, an official said.

Matt Blajer, a spokesman for the ministry, also confirmed in an email that there was no construction taking place on the site at the time of the roof's collapse.

The most recent visit was Jan. 11 in response to a complaint of a leaky roof, but no orders were issued, the ministry said.

Eastwood Mall Inc., the company that owns the mall, provided information regarding ongoing maintenance planned "and a permanent fix for spring/summer 2012," Blajer wrote in an email.

He said officials also paid a visit to the site four other times between November 2010 and August 2011 to follow up on other complaints, but didn't find anything related to the complaints that violated the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

On Nov. 17, 2010, an inspector visited the site after receiving a complaint there were leaking pipes in mall offices. The plumbing staff were on site replacing the entire piping system, the ministry said.

The ministry said it followed up in January and found that Eastwood Mall had complied with the orders and the plumbing was replaced.

The ministry said an inspector returned on June 1, 2011, after it received a complaint that there was a leaky roof, mould and an unsafe escalator. The inspector found no violations related to the complaint, but issued two orders related to the training of workers handling hazardous material and the reporting of the materials.

Again, Eastwood Mall complied with the directives and no further orders were issued, the ministry said.

Back in 2009, the ministry issued a stop work order related to the use of a skyjack lifting device to paint structural beams outside the mall. It ordered that the company to provide proper training on the use of the equipment. …

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