The former Grace Windsor Hospital site in Southwestern Ontario has been an eyesore since it closed in 2004. Residents have had a litany of complaints about the abandoned site, from dangerous broken windows and crumbling walls to the toxic materials the old structure contained – including asbestos.
Asbestos was once considered a “wonder” construction material because it’s fire retardant and nearly indestructible. It seemed – at one time – the natural material to use for both public and private buildings in a wide range of areas and applications.
Often, asbestos is bound with cement or other substances in a mixture. As long as those materials are intact and completely whole, the asbestos is not considered dangerous. Once it begins to deteriorate and turns into small inhalable – or ‘friable’ – particles, it becomes the deadly threat that can cause fatal lung cancers and other diseases.
Left to crumble for nearly a decade, it’s certain that any asbestos in the old hospital site was deteriorating and could have posed a threat. Now, the Ministry of the Environment (MoE) is considering legal action against the company that bought the site with the intention to sell and/or develop it for failure to comply with a clean-up order issued in 2011 – already several years after the hospital was closed.
“Our investigation is related to the past demolition work and proper management of asbestos materials,” says Kate Jordan, a spokesperson for the MoE. “We are looking at the former owner (and mortgage holder) with respect to non-compliance of several ministry orders.”
Cost vs. Health?
Several decades down the road, we’re left with many situations like this – older buildings that need renovations or even demolition with a legacy of asbestos that’s been left behind. Cost may be cited as a reason to delay asbestos removal or remediation, but at what real cost to your health?
You may not have a derelict building on your hands, but if your home was built before 1970, it almost certainly contains asbestos in one form or another. Even if it’s all hidden behind walls and/or intact, when you renovate, you’re almost certain to disturb it and that’s where it gets dangerous.
Let Us Help
You can’t always tell ‘just by looking’ and you almost certainly don’t have the necessary protective gear as an ordinary homeowner. If you suspect the presence of asbestos on your property, you need professional help.
Get peace of mind from GreenStream Environmental – call us for a quote today.
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.
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