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'It's not just the old buildings. It's the memories,' Penetanguishene business owners face uncertainty as demolition begins on collapsed building


Demolition got underway on what remains of a collapsed building in the heart of Penetanguishene, while the tenants and neighbouring business owners face uncertainty.

"It's our home. It's where my dad had his best memories. Where I had a lot of my best memories," said Captain Ken's Pub owner, Kattie Cowan.

Business owners on Main Street, like Cowan, are anxiously awaiting their fate as engineers assess the integrity of the surrounding structures following the building's collapse on Thursday.

Cowan took over the pub last year after her father passed away. The business has been in the family for nearly five decades since her father became owner as a teenager.

The thought of the business being reduced to rubble is emotional for Cowan.

"It's not just the old buildings. It's the memories with it," she said. "The town has kind of congregated there for years and years, so it'll be difficult, and it's been hard to think about."

Meanwhile, the County of Simcoe, Red Cross, Empower Simcoe and Salvation Army are coordinating efforts to help the 14 displaced residents whose lives were turned upside down when their apartment building came tumbling down.

READ | Apartment building collapses on Main Street in Penetanguishene, Ont.

Cowan noted how the community support has been incredible.

"Within the community, everyone is trying, and everyone is offering things from their homes. Everyone is offering homes. Everyone is offering food. It's been really great. We are really lucky," she said.

"At first, it's hard to believe that something like this would happen, but I'm a little humbled by the amount of support we've received. Neighbours helping neighbours. Everyone's come out to help out. Whatever they can do," Mayor Doug Rawson added.

The cause of the collapse remains unknown. Top Stories

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