Toronto City Councillor Adam Vaughan: Rebuilding Fire Stricken Q
Leaving several historic buildings in smoldering ruins, a massive six (6) alarm blaze, that started early Wednesday morning, has caused millions of dollars in damage for several Queen Street West businesses and residents with upper-level apartments.
The fire believed to have started just before 5:00 A.M. at a street-level electronics stereo/audio store, National Sound, that has been on 615 Queen Street West for the past 40 years. National Sound along with Duke Cycle, Nikolaou Restaurant Equipment, Suspect Video, Preloved, Pizzaiolo, Jupiter, Cosmos Records and many other long-term businesses were ravaged and gutted by the fire.
The victims were offered ten (10) rooms free of charge at Toronto's Fairmont Royal York hotel with breakfast included and were allowed to call their relatives free of any long distance charges; others were directed to the Trinity Community Centre.
As I approached ground zero the area between Bathurst Street and Portland Street were closed off to cars by police. The smell of the fiery aftermath overpowering and still linguering in the air. With freezing temperatures firefighter crews were greatly challenged to fight the fire as water apparently froze to ice as soon as it hit the ground.
(see my exclusive video footage)
Toronto city councillor Adam Vaughan speak to me on how he is prioritizing two (2) immediate ways to help the community pull back together, especially for the people that lost their homes and/or jobs from the blaze.
Toronto city councillor Adam Vaughan:
(1) "First we've set up trust funds to help the residents that were put out of their homes, the trust will be with any Scotia Bank across the city.."
(2) "..we've also convened a meeting where we're going to be planning heritage and building services to talk to the residents, the businesses and land owners about how they can rebuild as quickly as possible but still maintaining the social and architectural heritage of the area."
Toronto city councilor Adam Vaughan continues: "We're looking to make sure this stretch of Queen Sreet returns to normal and retains its heritage value as well as its wonderful pedestrian value. Our challenge will be the building approval process and to have the city not charge the usual development costs."
Traffic, including streetcar service, was rerouted around the area. Many of the scorched buildings are no longer structurally sound and will be demolished before they potentially collapse.
Tomitheos reporting from Toronto
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada