British Columbia Sun

Businesses in Winters Hotel refused access to the team as demolition begins 


Key takeaways: 

  • Jason Gallop says he has tools and goods still left at his watch repair store.
  • The Winters Hotel in Gastown is being destroyed after a fire broke out in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Wednesday, April 20, 2022.

As the destruction of the Winters Hotel in Vancouver’s Gastown neighborhood begins Thursday, businesses with storefronts in the century-old heritage structure are expressing frustration after being refused access to their teams.

Almost 70 citizens living in the single-room occupancy (SRO) accommodation on the upper floors of the Winters Hotel have lost their homes and all of their belongings after a fire tore through the building this month.

The city declared it would start ruin this Tuesday, saying the structure could not be saved.

Jason Gallop, managing director at watch repair shop Roldorf and Co., said he was at his shop when the building burst into flames last week.

He held as many things as he could, but he’s holding onto the thin expectancy that he’ll be able to get into his shop to access the rest of his client’s watches and his valuable tools.

Also read: Rocker and Canadian music veteran Jerry Doucette passes away at 70 

the destruction of the Winters Hotel in Vancouver’s Gastown neighborhood begins Thursday

“All of the vendors have been battling to get back into their shops to recover whatever they could,” Gallop said. 

“The tools I’ve been collecting since I was 17, and we’re now where I can’t get in there to get that thing.”

Gallop said city officials have said the structure is too difficult to enter, but he has clients’ items in his store that are ‘invaluable.’

“I’m out here looking at the building being ruined on all the rest of the consumers’ goods … and it’s traumatizing,” he said.

Teams were supposed to begin ruining the building early Wednesday. Still, work was halted so police could confirm the installation was clear after getting reports someone might have gone inside the building overnight. 

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