Representative Matters

City of Cambridge Chief Building Official Obtains Confirmation of Emergency Order to Demolish Designated Historical Building

On November 29, 2023, the Superior Court of Justice released its long-awaited decision to confirm an emergency order issued by the City of Cambridge’s Chief Building Official requiring the immediate demolition of the former Preston Springs Hotel, a historical landmark in Cambridge that had its exterior designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.  The hotel had, however, become dilapidated in recent years and had extensively deteriorated to a structurally unsound condition.  The Chief Building Official issued an emergency order under s. 15.10 of the Building Code Act, 1992 because the building posed an immediate danger to the health and safety of the public.  Demolition commenced on December 31, 2020, but was almost halted that same day as the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) applied ex parte to enjoin the demolition until Aird & Berlis pointed out that the ACO had actually named the wrong party in its materials.  The demolition proceeded and was completed on January 4, 2021.

The Chief Building Official was obligated to bring an application to confirm the reasonableness of the emergency order and the costs incurred to remedy the emergency. The owner consented to the orders. In a highly unusual move, the ACO obtained intervenor status and contested the application.

The Aird & Berlis team was successful on all grounds with the judge confirming that the emergency order was reasonable and that the amount of $349,388.27 requested by the City of Cambridge was to be paid by the owner. 

Aird & Berlis represented Cambridge’s Chief Building Official and the City of Cambridge, with a team including Brian Chung, John Mascarin and John Pappas.