News / Calgary

Kensington Manor residents forced to find new homes

It's not clear how long the Calgary building will be closed to tenants

Kensington Manor - 321 - 10 Street NW in Calgary

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Kensington Manor - 321 - 10 Street NW in Calgary

Rebecca Gould is no stranger to being displaced.

She and her family had to flee the raging Calgary floodwaters in 2013 and now she’s once again faced with finding a new place to live.

Gould is one of more than 120 people looking for new accommodations after the Kensington Manor at 321 - 10 Street NW was evacuated after structural concerns arose Thursday.

What’s more is she’s not only out a home, but a part-time job at the Running Room location in the same building.

“I literally came home to my building being completely fenced off,” said Gould, who’s been living at the Manor since 2015.

“I had no prior notification at all whatsoever that the building was being shut down. About two or three firefighters and police officers said you have 10 or 15 mins to pack all your stuff and get out.”

Gould said arrangements were made for evacuees to stay at the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association, but she’s fortunate to have her parents in southwest Calgary where she could lodge.

Dennis Terhove, supervisor at the safety response unit for the City of Calgary, said they were notified Thursday morning by the building owners, who said an engineer informed them of structural issues. By 2 p.m. a cease occupancy notice was posted.

“The city recognizes this is a very unfortunate incident for these people,” Terhove said.

“We’re trying to do the best we can. Caring for our citizens is really utmost for everyone at the city.” 

Work had already begun on clearing the area out so they could start shoring up the building, Terhove said.

Scott Charlebois, a two-year building resident, said that he got a knock on the door from the building maintenance person at around 5 p.m.
 
“I just got evacuated,” he said.

“He told me to pack up my stuff and get out, so I chased down my cats and left. They’re taking us to a community safe house.”

Gould said so far they’ve received their damage deposits back from the building owner, National Equity Management Ltd., but she’s unsure of the December rent at this point.

Calls were made to National Equity Management Ltd., but they hadn’t yet responded to a request for an interview.

Gould does have a plan to hit up another National Equity Management property in downtown Calgary, as she was told they would be able to move there for three months at the same rent they were paying at Kensington Manor, and after that period they could renegotiate a lease or move elsewhere.

The building is likely to be off limits to residents and businesses for several weeks, Gould had heard, and provided everything’s safe and if the Running Room resumes operations at that location, she’d be willing to move back.

Terhove said it would be at least two weeks before tenants can re-enter the premiss to gather belongings, and if they’ve decided to, move out. It’s unclear at this point when the building will be habitable again. 

“Clearly because we have the tenants displaced, we had to deal with these things right away, right now we’re early stages of the investigations,” Terhove said.

“We’re just dealing with it as we can."

- with files from James Snell / SAIT

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