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Vancouver City Hall's East Wing will come down gradually

Last Updated Aug 19, 2016 at 5:59 am PST

(Courtesy Googlemaps)

Vancouver city hall's East Wing is finally coming down, but don't expect wrecking balls and detonations.

The exterior dismantling of Vancouver city hall's building at Yukon and 10th Avenue has officially begun.

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The landscape at Yukon and 10th Avenue in Vancouver is about to change.

City hall’s East Wing is finally coming down, but don’t expect wrecking balls and detonations.

The seismically-unsound building will be dismantled in bits and pieces over the next few months – in a project the city prefers to call a deconstruction rather than a demolition.

Employees began to be moved out in 2012, shortly after a study found it wouldn’t withstand an earthquake.

The interior has been gradually gutted, and the city’s director of facilities planning Danica Djurkovic says every one of its four storeys will be methodically dismantled.

“It will be done sequentially, floor-by-floor. And city work sites will recycle some of the material. For instance, the city’s yard at Kent Avenue will grind up the concrete and use it as fill material.”

In fact, the city aims to recycle 85 per cent of the building’s materials.

Djurkovic says there are other reasons explosives won’t be used.

“The dismantling will mean better air quality, better dust control and minimal noise. It won’t be as much fun as people might have expected with an explosion but it will be a more pleasant process.”

The building’s podium, a window-less, concrete block at its base, will remain. The city is exploring some urban agriculture use for the corner of Yukon and 10th Avenue.

Most of the East Wing will be gone by the end of the year.