Domtar razes century-old idled groundwood pulp mill building on Chaudière Islands in Ontario, says structure was unsafe; federal agency warns against any further demolition on crown land without its approval

LOS ANGELES , March 1, 2012 () – Domtar Corp. tore down its 100-year-old groundwood pulp mill building on Chaudière Islands in Ottawa, Ontario, last week, causing a stir locally and raising a warning from a federal agency, reported The Ottawa Citizen on Feb. 29.

The National Capital Commission (NCC), a crown corporation that oversees the federally owned land on which the mill was sited, told the company not to raze any more buildings on crown land without its approval.

The papermaker, which owns most of the property on Chaudière Islands, said that it had received a demolition permit from the City of Ottawa in December and was unaware it needed NCC approval, The Ottawa Citizen reported.

The structure needed to be torn down as it was unsafe after one of the walls collapsed in September, Domtar said. The building has been vacant and deteriorating since the 1960s.

Due to the complex ownership of the land and property on the islands, Domtar might not have known about the correct procedure to follow, particularly since the demolition was urgent, said NCC CEO Marie Lemay.

However, Domtar is now aware that it needs to inform the NCC of any such action it plans in the future, she said, reported The Ottawa Citizen.

Although the mill had not been recognized by Ottawa or Canada as a heritage property, the NCC has long been interested in buying the Chaudière Islands, which are part of what it calls National Interest Land Mass (NILM).

The NCC had begun talks with Domtar when it bought the property from E.B. Eddy in 1998, but discussions have since lapsed. However, if the NILM properties were to become available and the NCC had the funds, “we should try to buy them,” said Lemay, The Ottawa Citizen reported.

The primary source of this article is The Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa, Ontario, on Feb. 29, 2012.


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