Elevator Modernization Update

Updates are posted here with the most recent information at the top and earlier posts following.
Check back here regularly for the latest news on our exciting elevator modernization.

Third Update – 17 November 2017

Planning and pre-construction work continues on the elevator.

Portions of the building will be x-rayed early in the week of 20 November.  X-raying is necessary to properly locate where drilling should take place in running the necessary conduits from the elevator mechanical room to the outside space adjacent to the mezzanine, for the new cooling units.  To ensure that there is no risk to the public, the x-raying will start at 10 pm and go until about 2 am.

The contractors are waiting for the required permit in order to begin work on the garbage enclosure at the south end of the building.  Once the permit has been issued, a portion of the asphalt will be removed to install the concrete pad and fencing.

Final details are being worked on to create an accessible entrance for the library.  A temporary ramp will be constructed along the Saulter Street side of the building, and automatic doors will be installed for the duration of the construction work.

Despite the small delays in this preconstruction work, it is not anticipated that it will cause a delay in the actual installation of the new elevator or the anticipated completion date.


Second Update – 3 November 2017

Visitors to the Centre will have noticed the most obvious sign that work is about to begin on the elevator: the building permits have been issued and are posted on our entrance.

Planning for the work continues, with regular site visits by the contractors and their engineers to map out the installation of the cooling system for the elevator mechanical room.  Surprisingly, the mechanical room currently has little ventilation – a small grate vents into the hallway and the hydraulic system is cooled by upright fans!

In planning the precise route for the conduits for this work, portions of the building will need to be x-rayed, to ensure that any drilling does not come into contact with vital reinforcing bars or electrical systems.  The x-raying will take place at times when the building is empty, so this work will not pose a risk to our program users, space users, or staff.  The x-raying should take only a few hours and it is expected to occur in the coming week.

It is also hoped that work on the concrete pad for the garbage enclosure (later to become the stroller parking enclosure) will begin by the end of next week (before Friday 10 November) or early the following week (around Monday 13 November).  This work will entail pulling up the asphalt in the parking spot closest to the building, compacting the soil, and pouring a concrete pad.

During this portion of work, a portion of the parking lot will be fenced off.  Since the rear lot is for staff and deliveries only, this will not affect visitors to the Centre.  Allowances will be made to ensure that access to the South Riverdale Child-Parent Centre is not impeded.

An updated timeline for the work is expected around 16 November.


First Update – 24 October 2017

As you may have heard (or experienced), the current elevator at the Centre is showing its age.  It groans and moans, it creeps and lurches, and sometimes it goes wandering.  And its days are numbered.

The replacement of the RTCC elevator was included in the City’s Capital Plan.  For the first half of 2017, engineers and consultants worked on the elevator replacement,  preparing drawings and drafting the bid documents.  At the beginning of October, the contract was signed with the construction firm who will be undertaking the project.

Currently, the necessary parts are being ordered and manufactured.  The latest timeline on the elevator work is:

  • The current elevator will be decommissioned and removed starting at the beginning of January 2018.
  • Installation of the new elevator will take place in February 2018.
  • The new elevator should be up and running around the first week of March 2018.

The elevator will remain fully operational through the remainder of 2017.

Once the elevator has been decommissioned, access to the third floor, second floor, and the mezzanine will only be possible using the stairs.  During the work, there may be times when the front lobby is closed and the Saulter Street exit and rear stairs will be the primary entrance to the building.

In addition, likely starting in December, the basement program area will be closed and used by the construction crew as a storage/staging area for the elevator work.

Leading up to the main elevator project, some of the necessary pre-construction work will take place, such as:

  • Preparing for new cooling units for the elevator mechanical room in November 2017.
  • A lockup for garbage bins will be built in the rear parking lot in November 2017.  This space will be converted into stroller parking after construction has ended.
  • A temporary ramp will be constructed to ensure accessibility to the library, and the wood doors to the library will be temporarily replaced with accessible doors in December 2017.  During the elevator construction, the wood doors will be refinished and preserved and replaced once construction is complete.
  • The Saulter Street door, which is deteriorating and will act as the main entrance at times during the construction, will be permanently replaced with a new metal door in December 2017.

The Ralph Thornton Community Centre is grateful for the outstanding work by City staff in moving forward this project, and to Councillor Fletcher in her advocacy to make sure that the elevator remained a priority.