The sudden closure of downtown Victoria’s Strathcona complex on Thursday was due in-part to asbestos, according to WorkSafeBC.
On Thursday afternoon, a Facebook post from The Sticky Wicket Pub & Restaurant cited “construction issues” as the reason for the closure of all of the venues in the complex.
WorkSafeBC said officers were at the hotel on Thursday and confirmed that materials containing asbestos were found in the building. An asbestos consulting firm and an asbestos abatement firm were already on site when the officers arrived.
Renovation work at the hotel had already stopped and the owners were in the final stages of closing down and moving people out of the complex when WorkSafeBC arrived, according to a statement from the agency.
“It is not uncommon for buildings constructed before 1990 to have asbestos-containing materials,” a statement from the agency said. “Asbestos can be found in more than 3,000 common building materials, such as; vinyl and linoleum flooring, stucco, loose-blown insulation, roof felt shingles, drywall mud, incandescent light fixture backings and deck under-sheeting.”
The Strathcona at the corner of Douglas and Courtney streets includes a hotel, liquor store, pub, games room and clubhouse restaurant that serves as a late night venue as well.
Matt and Tena Kilroy, who were visiting from Seattle on Thursday, were looking forward to going to The Sticky Wicket Pub & Restaurant. It had been 10 years since they visited the pub and were hoping to go again for nostalgia’s sake. Other customers were also seen trying to enter the complex on Thursday afternoon only to find signs on the door saying it was closed.
A Facebook post on Friday afternoon said the businesses are set to re-open at 4 p.m. Friday.
WorkSafeBC said in cases where demolition or renovations of older buildings are taking place, owners or contractors must have the site assessed by a qualified person to determine the extent of asbestos contamination, have the site abated to remove or safely contain the asbestos and have a qualified person confirm in writing that the asbestos containing materials have been safely contained or removed.