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Uganda’s high commissioner furious over vote to save damaged building

April 12, 2018
Laura Osman, CBC News

Uganda’s high commissioner in Ottawa is outraged over a city committee’s decision to forbid the demolition of a former consulate building in Sandy Hill that was once home to Lester B. Pearson.

“We are so disappointed by the decision made by the committee, and that … does not enhance [a] good bilateral relationship between Uganda and Canada,” said Joy Acheng following the committee’s vote Thursday.

The building has cracks from the foundation up to the roof.– Ugandan High Commissioner Joy Acheng

The two-storey red brick building on Cobourg Street is owned by the Ugandan government, and was used as that country’s high commission to Canada from 1985 until 2014, when it was declared unsafe.

It’s been sitting in an increasingly dilapidated state ever since, with serious foundation problems and mould resulting from water damage.

The Ugandan government wants to demolish the building and build a new high commission in its place, but on Thursday Ottawa’s built heritage sub-committee threw a wrench in that plan, ignoring the advice of both the city’s own professional heritage planners and a third-party engineering firm, who agreed the building is in such bad shape it isn’t worth repairing.
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