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November 13, 2018

Demolition nearly complete at vacant Sarnia hospital site

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The final section of the former Sarnia General Hospital was coming down as members of Gfive Inc., gathered Monday on the sidewalk along Essex Street.

The group of local business owners have plans for residential and commercial development on the more than five-acre-site in south Sarnia. It was home to the city’s general hospital from the late 1800s until recent years when the amalgamated Bluewater Health site was developed a few blocks away at the former St, Joseph’s Hospital location.

“It has been a long journey and we’re pretty proud of the work the contractors have done for us, and pretty happy to be reaching this stage in the project,” said Kenn Poore, one of the members of Gfive.

He said the neighbours “have been fantastic” during the demolition and the city has been great to work with.

“We wish it could have be done a little earlier, but we did our best.”

Demolition began in 2017 after the city sold the vacant hospital site to the group for $1,000 and chipped in $5.4 million to help with demolition costs.

Some difficult abatement work at the site extended the length of the demolition.

“It has been a bittersweet process for us,” said Mark Lumley, another of the GFive members.

“The buildings had to come down but we recognize that it served the health needs of our community for most of the last century and many spent their working careers there – it’s full of memories.”

He said approximately 90 per cent of the material coming out of the demolition site will be recycled.

Work cleaning up the site is expected to continue for a month to six weeks after the final walls come down.

Keep reading in The Sarnia Oberver


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