Four Canadian Landmarks That Were Destroyed Through Controlled Demolition

Numerous historical Canadian structures are no longer in existence because of controlled demolition. Here are four such landmarks. 

1. Grand Forks Hotel

In 1896, George Washington Carmack discovered gold along the banks of Rabbit Creek. Word of this gold-filled region, located in the Yukon, reached the outside world, and a Klondike gold rush began.

A year later, Irish immigrant and entrepreneur Belinda Mulrooney erected the Grand Forks Hotel and Restaurant. She profited not only from the Klondike gold rush miners' business, but also from sweeping up and sifting the dust and shavings that the miners left behind on the hotel floor. The gold that she collected from this sweeping and sifting amounted to an impressive $100 a day. 

Just before the turn of the century, the gold rush subsided and the miners left the region in droves. Mulrooney sold the Grand Forks Hotel and, soon after, mining dredges destroyed the building. 

2. Edmonton Gardens Hockey Arena

In 1912, the Edmonton Stock Pavilion erected; it was the first indoor hockey arena in Edmonton, Alberta. Renamed the Edmonton Gardens Arena and known as the "cow barn," it was particularly noted for its ugliness. In 1966, the Edmonton fire chief classified it as a fire hazard and condemned the building. The city of Edmonton funded the arena's renovation, and it reopened in 1967. 

In 1982, the city initiated plans to demolish the Edmonton Gardens Arena. After several attempts to destroy the Arena with dynamite proved unsuccessful, the demolition crew employed the use of a wrecking ball and finally felled the building.

3. Queen Elizabeth Pool

Also in Edmonton, Alberta, the Queen Elizabeth Pool opened in 1922. Edmonton residents and visitors populated the pool year after year, and rumor has it that four Olympic swimmers started their swimming careers there. Despite the pool's popularity and occasional renovations, it succumbed to its age and grew increasingly weathered and crumbled. After a memorial session held in 2006, plans for the Queen Elizabeth Pool's demolition were underway, as were plans for its replacement.

4. St. Jude's Anglican Cathedral

Nationally-recognized architect Ron Thom designed the St. Jude's Angelican Cathedral in Iqaluit. The church held its first mass in 1972; the church is recognized for its unique igloo design and Inuit decorations. 

In 2005, an arsonist destroyed the landmark church. Following the arson, residents and donors attempted to raise money for the church's reconstruction, but the bishop determined that the financial hardship that the proposed reconstruction would create was simply too great. The remainder of the church was demolished.

For more information on controlled demolition, contact a company like Controlled Demolition Group Inc.


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