Asbestos Removal Company Ordered To Stop Operations after $1 Million in Penalties

When it comes to asbestos removal violations, how many is too much? WorkSafeBC has just answered that questions when it comes to a repeat offender operating in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Repeated Violations
BCS Contracting Ltd. is listed as an asbestos abatement company. They’re based in Surrey, but work largely in Burnaby. Since 2011, they’ve racked up a whopping $1,118,000 in penalties (a total of 16) for improper asbestos removal procedures, along with five stop-work orders. It has been issued five fines since 2013 alone.

The most recent penalty was issued in March 2017, when the company was fined $628,034.57 related to work at two houses. Violations include:

Earlier this year, the court issued an order that the company stop any and all work that could possibly involve asbestos or ACM, until the company met a list of conditions. These included:

  • Informing workers about the risks and training them in safe asbestos handling practices;
  • Providing adequate supervision of workers handling asbestos;
  • Providing a written plan that details the steps the company will take to bring its practices into line with regulations.

Many advocates say the case is an example of why licensing should be mandatory for asbestos removal contractors and others who handle hazardous materials.

Safety And Asbestos
We’re just as frustrated with companies who violate the law – and good sense – as anyone else. When asbestos removal companies try to cut corners with inadequately trained and prepared workers, they endanger not only their employees, but the building owners, and anyone in the vicinity. Improperly contained asbestos or ACM can spread throughout a home and even a neighbourhood on the wind.

If you believe your home contains asbestos, we can help. You can trust the experienced asbestos removal experts and asbestos remediation experts at Green Stream Environmental to take care of your asbestos issues. In the Toronto area contact Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.

Firefighters Get New App To Track Asbestos Exposure

University of Toronto innovation is helping firefighters track the effects when it comes to exposure to asbestos and other hazardous substances.

Statistics show that firefighters do suffer from an increased risk of mesothelioma – twice as high in some studies. Mesothelioma is the result of exposure to asbestos fibres. Because of their virtually indestructible nature, they do not deteriorate but instead disrupt the tissue itself and decades later, develop into cancerous mesothelioma.

Asbestos & Firefighters
Asbestos was once widely used in both public and private buildings. Mixed with various other components such as vinyl, linoleum or concrete, it was used from floor to ceiling. Such asbestos containing materials (ACM) are considered safe as long as they are intact, however once they deteriorate – as they often do under the extreme heat conditions of a fire – they can release asbestos fibres into the air. It’s a very real hazard for firefighters as the statistics attest to.

A new app called Xposure, developed by a group of recent graduates from U of T Engineering. The project began when the group were undergrads and serves to help firefighters track their exposure to hazardous substances like asbestos. Previously, firefighters filled out an annual questionnaire and it is hoped that instantaneous reporting via mobile phone app will provide much better statistics to draw from and aid them if it comes time to claim compensation. It uses an intuitive questionnaire format to provide information that can also serve to help them in the future, creating a data base that can be analyzed and used to take proactive measures.

The app is currently being used by about 50 members of the Hamilton Professional Firefighters Association, with plans to expand.

Asbestos in Your Home
If you are unfortunate enough to have a fire in your home, it’s likely the firefighters who will be exposed to asbestos fibres. However, there are many other ways that you as a home or property owner can be exposed to asbestos.

  • Renovations that involve removing walls;
  • Installing a home theatre system;
  • Installing a home alarm system;
  • Replacing roof tiles;
  • Replacing old flooring;
  • Working popcorn ceilings or removing textured paints.

It’s No Joke
Asbestos is a known health hazard. If you have asbestos in your home, the only way to proceed is with safety in mind. You can trust the experienced asbestos removal and asbestos remediation experts at GreenStream Environmental to take care of the issue for you. In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.

Deaths from Asbestos Related Mesothelioma Continue to Rise

Decades after it was largely removed from use in everyday objects, asbestos continues to haunt both the industrialized and developing worlds. Statistics Canada recently released figures that show the health effects, including the number of cases and deaths from mesothelioma, the deadly cancer caused only by asbestos exposure, continue to be on the rise. Some of the figures;

  • In 1992, there were 276 new cases;
  • In 2012, there were 560 new cases.
  • In 2000, there were 292 deaths;
  • In 2012, there were 467 deaths.

The spike is clear and alarming – and the trend seems set to continue without an end in sight. The figures also only take mesothelioma into account; there are other lung cancers and diseases caused by exposure to asbestos that likely swell the numbers to double at least, according to experts.

There have been calls on the new federal government to enact a full ban on asbestos in this country and to support the listing of chrysotile asbestos as a hazardous substance under the UN’s Rotterdam Convention.

What Does It Mean For You?
If your home was built before the 1980’s, it almost certainly contains asbestos in one form or another. Fire retardant and nearly indestructible, asbestos was once considered a “miracle” material and used widely in both residential and industrial construction – literally from floor to ceiling.

The federal government may be waffling but you can make a definitive move to protect your health, that of your family and even your pets by “banning” or removing asbestos where it may occur in your home.

Our experienced and certified asbestos removal technicians are available to help you with your asbestos issues and answer any questions you may have. You’ll have peace of mind knowing the job is in safe and experienced hands.

In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.

Asbestos & More Keeps New PM out of 24 Sussex

With the election of a new Prime Minister comes a quandary… what to do about the official PM’s residence at 22 Sussex Drive in Ottawa? The Victorian mansion, according to reports, suffers from decades of neglect. Lack of maintenance is a recipe for a variety of ills, including asbestos.

Among the many issues that need renovation:

  • plumbing,
  • windows that don’t close properly,
  • a 50 year-old knob-and-tube electrical system,
  • outdated HVAC,
  • in short, all of the building’s major systems.

Those facts come from a 2008 report by the auditor general that concluded about $10 million in repairs were required. The former PM chose to stay in the residence and not allow the renovations to proceed.

Many former residents of 22 Sussex, including Margaret Trudeau and Maureen McTeer, who has gone so far as to call for its destruction. “That’s why an old, crumbling building with asbestos, which we know is poison, really is so lacking of vision, if you will, and [does not reflect] who we are as Canadians,” she explained in a media interview.

As it is, Prime Minister-Designate Justin Trudeau and his family will have to find other digs while the official residence, originally built in the 19th century, is renovated. Since the work are anticipated to take 12 to 15 months (and that’s fairly optimistic!) the officials in charge of the official residence are taking advantage of the change of government to get it done now.

A Green Makeover?
Some are calling for a “green” makeover of the historic building as a showcase for what new and environmentally responsible technology can do. The process is called “net-zero” heritage retrofit. Net-zero, as the term implies, means that over its lifetime, the buildiing will produce as much energy as it consumes. The end result would be ultra energy-efficient and also mould resistant, with the improved ventilation that comes along with it.

If the new PM is serious about making a statement on climate change, it doesn’t get any closer than home. The National Capital Commission, the agency responsible for the official residence, has not released any details on the planned renovations as yet.

Asbestos in Your Home?
Neglect is a recipe for a variety of ills when it comes to your home, including mould infestation. Once walls are opened, if your home was built before the mid-1980’s or so, you are likely to find asbestos in the walls.

We can help. If you have mould or asbestos your home, our experienced technicians can help you with your environmental issues. In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.

Ontario Firm Under Investigation for Improper Asbestos Handling

Canada’s oldest furniture factory sadly closed some years ago, but it’s making the news today because of problems both old and new – including asbestos.

Kingston-area Gibbard Furniture was Canada’s oldest furniture factory, in business from the time it was built in 1835 until it was closed in 2009. The building languished for years until the property was recently purchased by a company with a view to converting and redeveloping it into condos and retail space. Their concept involved demolition of the interior to basically the walls and then a completely revamped and reconstructed interior.

Heritage Buildings
Virtually every building that was built before the mid-1980’s contains asbestos in one form or another – and this one beats that cutoff by about 150 years. The new owners hired a construction company to gut the building and that’s where the troubles started.

The Ontario Labour and Environment Ministries are now investigating the construction company over the way they removed materials from the building while they were gutting the interior. The Ministry received a tip that the potentially hazardous materials – including asbestos – were not handled or disposed of properly.

In a published report, a Ministry spokes person said, “The material was removed from the building and trucked to a quarry in Wilton, owned by the Dornekamp’s where it was disposed of. The main concern here is that material was not properly tarped when it was in transition to that quarry.”

When asbestos or asbestos containing materials are removed from any building, there are many safeguards and procedures that must be adhered to, including,

  • Worker protective equipment and gear;
  • Containment of the affected areas so that asbestos dust does not spread elsewhere during renovation/demolition;
  • Containment of the materials to be transported;
  • Containment of the materials during transport.

In other words, at all stages of the work, the potential for dissemination of deadly asbestos dust and fibres must be contained and confined as much as possible to avoid exposing anyone – other than the properly outfitted workers – to it. If it’s true, this is a very serious allegation indeed. If the materials were transported on a truck with no containment procedures in play, then there is a potential that anyone along the route was exposed to asbestos fibres.

In this case a stop work order was put into effect when the company was unable to provide documentation as to whether asbestos was on site or not.

You Can Trust GS
At GreenStream, we know that asbestos safety is no joke and nothing to be taken lightly. Carelessness affects not only the workers directly involved, but anyone in the vicinity who may be exposed to asbestos. You can be sure that our licensed and experienced asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians follow established procedures to keep you, your neighbours and our own workers safe.

In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.

Asbestos Abatement Firm & Supervisor Fined for Workers’ Asbestos Exposure

An asbestos removal firm in eastern Ontario and its supervisor were given fines amounting to just under $30K recently for exposing workers to asbestos.

Court heard how workers were exposed to asbestos dust on a job site. The supervisor in question pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to ensure that his workers were using protective equipment and gear. The incident occurred last spring when three employees of the company were working on an asbestos remediation job at a residential home in a suburb of Ottawa. While the area they worked on was enclosed, asbestos containing materials (ACM) were released into the air, creating the dust hazard.

The situation was brought to the attention of the Ministry of Labour when an inspector arrived on-site. This is what he found:

  • One worker leaving the enclosed area full of asbestos dust in street clothes
  • The second worker handling bags of ACM inside the area, also in street clothes
  • The third worker cleaning up the area – also in street clothes

Insanity
It shouldn’t take an unexpected visit from the Ministry of Labour inspector to point out what had clearly gone wrong with the job. The fact that this was a supposedly bona fide asbestos removal company is something we’re finding completely outrageous.

The danger isn’t only to workers on that job site. What happens when the owners/tenants of the building come back? How careful have they been to clean up well? If they haven’t been careful with their own health and safety, how well have they looked after their clients?

Working in street clothing with asbestos and in the absence of any protective gear – that has to come as a result of ignorance – the same kind of ignorance that saw asbestos become ubiquitous throughout the world as a “miracle” construction material. Surely anyone who understands the clear risks could not act so carelessly.

We couldn’t agree more with the way this was handled.

Asbestos is No Joke
It was only decades after asbestos and ACM became so commonplace that workers first began to show signs of deadly mesothelioma. That’s the risk: you won’t feel it at first, in fact you may not for many years. However, the asbestos fibres remain in your lungs – they never leave – and can create the kinds of abnormal changes that result in lung cancers and mesothelioma.

Sloppy workmanship just doesn’t cut it when you’re dealing with asbestos. It not only puts workers at risk, it puts home and business owners at risk – anyone in the area, in fact, can be affected if asbestos is not properly handled and ends up blowing friable (inhalable) fibres into a neighbourhood.

In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for an asbestos removal or asbestos remediation quote today.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.

 

Heritage Group Fights Province – Along with Asbestos, Mould

A heritage group in Southern Ontario just outside the GTA is getting the cold shoulder from the province when it asked to view a historic property.

The Hamilton, Ontario group – the city’s municipal heritage committee – requested to view Century Manor, an ornate three-storey mansion that was once home to the Hamilton Asylum for the Insane. One of the city’s oldest buildings, it’s a prime example of Victorian Gothic architecture. When the group wrote to the IO (Infrastructure Ontario) they received this in a written reply:

“Tours of vacant government owned buildings are only provided as part of the sales and marketing of the property and with specific consideration to the current conditions of the building.” The official goes on to mention “potential health and safety” as the reason, including the “suspected presence” of mould, asbestos and flaking lead paint.

Some of the heritage committee members are convinced the provincial landlord intends to practice so-called “demolition by neglect” – meaning they intend to do nothing until the property is beyond redemption and then tear it down.

Neglect and Older Buildings
We don’t know if that’s what the province really intends or not in this case – but it’s a certainty that neglect alone of an older building is a sure-fire way to lead to its eventual demise. It’s a situation we’re seeing more and more of on the public front – this is just one of hundreds, perhaps thousands of publicly owned buildings with problems like mould and leftover asbestos.

Of course, it’s not only publicly owned buildings that are under the gun, so to speak. Many people love older buildings and if you’re thinking about buying that DIY fixer-upper with a view to lovingly restoring it to its former glory, there are some caveats you should take into account.

  • Asbestos: virtually all buildings constructed before the 1980’s contain asbestos in one form or another. Obvious things like vermiculite insulation may have been dealt with because of consumer awareness but asbestos containing materials (or ACM) may appear anywhere literally from floor to ceiling. While they’re still intact they’re considered safe but asbestos removal is your only permanent solution.
  • Mould: wherever there is lingering moisture, there is the potential for mould, which can begin to form within 48 hours. All it takes is a pinhole leak in plumbing in an area that no one sees and voila, mould takes hold. If you’re scouting properties there are some key things to keep in mind
    • Maintenance – has the property been properly maintained? Old windows, roof materials, leaky siding – all of these can contribute to lingering moisture.
    • Follow your nose – you may not see mould inside of walls or floors or under the carpet, but if it’s there, you’ll likely be able to smell that telltale musty odour.

Let GS Help
We can help. Our experienced technicians offer professional, certified services to help you deal with environmental issues, including

In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.

Ontario Developer Fined $125K in Asbestos Case

A Western Ontario property developer was fined $125,000 – including a $25,000 victim fine – for failing to properly dispose of asbestos at the former Grace Hospital in Windsor, Ontario.

In fact, the developer submitted a consultant report on the site in 2011 prior to demolition. The report claimed the site was abestos-free but the Ministry of the environment and Climate Change did a little digging and found evidence in historical documents of asbestos containing materials and laid the charges that resulted in the recent conviction and fine.

The government inspectors were right to question a finding of no asbestos. The former hospital was built decades ago when asbestos was used in a wide variety of applications in both residential and institutional construction. What we now know can cause incurable lung disease and cancers was once thought of as a miracle material and not without reason – it’s fire resistant, water resistant and nearly indestructible. It wasn’t until decades after it first came into general use in the early 20th century that its effects on human health were discovered as workers and others who had come into contact with it began to fall sick.

Asbestos in Your Home
If your home was built before the mid-1980’s, it’s almost certain to contain asbestos or asbestos containing materials (also called ACM) in one form or another. It can show up almost anywhere from floor to ceiling – literally – including:

  • Ceiling tiles – including acoustic tiles
  • Floor tiles – often in a vinyl mixture
  • Roofing and siding materials
  • Wall panels
  • Textured paints
  • Window and door caulking

It’s considered safe as long as it is intact but aging materials can deteriorate over time no matter what the conditions.

  • Renovations – like demolition – poses a significant risk of damaging asbestos and ACM and creating breathable fibres.

Shady Contractors
Add shady contractors to the mix and homeowner anxiety can certainly be justified. How do you ensure the health of you and your family – and be sure that the company you’ve hired is going to do the job right?

We can help.

We have many satisfied customers and years of expertise. Our experienced technicians offer professional, certified services to help you deal with environmental issues, including

In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.

Mould Adds to Asbestos Woes for Nation’s Science and Technology Museum

It’s something of an irony of course that the Canada Science and Technology Museum should be closed for two of the issues that epitomize old-fashioned building technology – asbestos and mould.

The Museum is closed amid renewed talks for it to simply move out of the building and into more appropriate quarters. The latest complaint is high levels of mould in the air that were detected recently. Mould was also detected along one wall. It’s meant that workers are prohibited from entering the building.

This comes after workers found asbestos in the roof last year. The material was encapsulated but not removed.

Playing Politics with the Museum
In fact, the building itself – which had been a warehouse – was never designed as a permanent home for the collection. It opened in 1967 in honour of Canada’s Centennial celebrations and has only been able to display about two percent of the collection due to its size.

Money, of course, is the issue. A new museum is on everyone’s wish list but money’s short – and the building remains shut in the meantime.

Naturally, the Opposition – Liberal heritage critic Stéphane Dion and NDP critic Pierre Nantel – have both pointed a finger at what they’re calling Conservative neglect of science. “It’s bad news. It’s symbolic that it’s about science,” Dion said.

Don’t Skimp on Maintenance
The problems that plague older buildings, such as,

  • Lingering moisture leading to mould
  • Asbestos that’s left to deteriorate

can be taken care of with proper maintenance and upkeep of the property in most cases. But,lLeft unchecked, these types of issues can result in an uninhabitable building.

We can help. Our experienced technicians offer professional, certified services to help you deal with environmental issues, including

In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.

 

Asbestos in Historic Sites

Another of Canada’s historic sites has fallen victim to old age and the cumulative effects of problems associated with older buildings – including asbestos.

The fifth-floor kitchen in Ottawa’s Government Conference Centre is now gone, along with the rest of the building. What made an unassuming kitchen a site of historic significance? It was the place where a deal was struck that saved the country’s constitutional accord.

The Kitchen Accord
According to Ottawa legend, future prime minister Jean Chrétien and the attorneys general, Roy McMurtry of Ontario and Roy Romanow of Saskatchewan met in the kitchen during the tense sessions that nearly ended with scuttled constitutional talks. Written on a napkin, it came to be known as the “Kitchen Accord”.

Today, the Conference Centre is undergoing renovations to prepare it to house the Senate – while the Centre Block that is usually the Senate’s home itself undergoes renovations.  The Senate requested that the kitchen be preserved as part of Canadian history, but the department of Public Works was forced to abandon those plans and demolish the room after a flood. Asbestos in the walls became a major issue.

“The flood that occurred in 2013 was caused by a broken pipe and resulted in the kitchen being dismantled,” said Public Works spokeswoman Annie Joannette.

Senators were only made aware of the change over the summer, when they went for a site visit. It’s sparked a controversy between the senators and Public Works.

Old Buildings and Old Problems
Renovations, flooding – anything that disturbs the integrity of walls and other structures in your home can also reveal old problems like asbestos.

  • Asbestos is considered safe as long as it is intact but dangerous if it has been damaged and the fibres become inhalable.

Let us help! If your home was built before the 1980’s, it almost certainly contains asbestos in one form or another. At GreenStream Environmental, our asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians are experienced and conscientious.

In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.