Cars on Ontario Avenue in Elliot Lake, Ont., pass by a dusty, deserted property spanning several city blocks.
An abandoned demolition machine, worn out signs and a road leading to where the Algo Centre Mall’s parking deck used to be are all that is left on the site.
The building had to be torn down after a rusty steel beam that was supporting the shopping centre’s roof gave way on June 23, 2012.
Lucie Aylwin, 37, was killed while assisting her lottery kiosk customer Doloris Perizzolo, 74. More than 20 others were injured when cars and cement came crashing down.
Luc Cyr was about to walk into Zellers with his wife and daughter when the collapse happened.
“Everybody started running and screaming out of the plaza,” Cyr said.
“I could see the smoke rising above the Foodland area in the main entrance … It was a difficult day.”
‘Open skies and boulders’
Cyr said he put his family into their car for safety, then ran into the mall to check on his staff at Foodland, which he managed at the time.
“I was stunned,” Cyr said. “What used to be the escalator and the hotel all of a sudden was just open skies and boulders and water running down.”
Elliot Lake Mayor Dan Marchisella is reminded of the tragedy every time he goes to work at city hall, which is located beside the mall’s property.
“It’s kind of like an open wound,” Marchisella said. “A wound that won’t heal in the community.”
Marchisella said he cannot say if the city is interested in the land at this time.
It is unclear what will happen to the site. Advertisements for the property still line the premises. The lawyer for the owner declined CBC’s request for an…