The Mayfair Hotel: Gone!

Late last week news came that Kitchener’s Mayfair Hotel has to be demolished because of some pretty serious structural issues. I’m no engineer, but it probably has something to do with the 12 inch high, 4 foot long crack in the foundation. In short, there was a flood in the basement of the 110-year-old building that did some major damage which then prompted a report from two different structural engineers on what to do. Both agreed that the only feasible option would be for the building to come down. According to the report, there was a public safety risk so much so that they didn’t even want car or pedestrian traffic going down Young Street for fear of the building coming down at any moment.

The Mayfair has been vacant since 2007, but there were plans to turn it into a boutique hotel and maybe a restaurant and club. It was formerly a furniture store until 1976 and was also used as low-income housing from 2000 until it closed in 2007. It’s another sad ending for a historical building downtown. There were plans to have it designated as a heritage site under the Ontario Heritage Act, but for some reason that never happened. It fell into far too much disrepair to the point that fixing it would cost double that of a new building.

On the same block once stood the Forsyth building. It was torn down in 2006 under similar circumstances; the building was left sitting with almost no upkeep until the only safe thing to do was tear it down. I only vaguely remember the building but I do know my paternal grandma worked there when she was younger.

The first set of images in the included gallery shows as-of-this-weekend images of the Mayfair. After that, there are shots of the Forsyth building fenced off; further through show the subsequent demolition.

The report was so severe that they want to bring the building down as soon as possible so there’s a chance I’ve seen it for the last time. Please City of Kitchener, don’t make it a parking lot.

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