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Piccadilly Vancouver



The Piccadilly Hotel closed down on February 28, 2007, for fire-code violations, resulting in the loss of 40 more low-income rooms for let in Vancouver. Pivot Legal Society is representing James McQueen, who was evicted by the landlord.

McQueen was able to find a place to live with the Downtown Eastside Residents' Association, but at least two other residents were left homeless, according to Pivot Lawyer David Eby, who said that although most of the residents were found place to live by City employees, the loss of the 40 rooms will cost the city in the long term.

Eby said that despite the $50 per week increase in the Accommodation supplement announced recently by the provincial government, landlords were not finding it profitable to run hotel with less than 40 rooms. The cost of replacing the 40 rooms lost is estimated at $8 million as each new single apartment would cost $200,000 to build.

"Instead of forcing the hotel to close, the city could have made the neccessary repairs to keep the hotel open and billed the owner for the work," said Eby.

Source: www.pivotlegal.org


The street-level pub, which used to host independent rock bands, has been transformed into Tunnel Multi-Lounge, a swanky nightclub. It opened in May 2008 following $600,000 worth of renovations.


Picadilly Hotel owner fined $46,000 for violations

Landlord tried to condemn building so he could kick out tenants, investigators say

Tim Lai
Vancouver Sun
Saturday, August 16, 2008

VANCOUVER - The owner of a dilapidated building in Vancouver's downtown core, once plagued by rats and faulty fire doors, has been fined $46,500 after he was found guilty of 32 counts of contravening building maintenance and fire safety regulations.

David Grewal was convicted in April following inspections of the Piccadilly Pub and Hotel at 620 West Pender.

The four-storey building, with 45-single occupancy rooms, was ordered closed in March 2007. During the trial, inspectors alleged Grewal wanted to run the building down so the city would condemn it and he could stop renting it out to low-income tenants.

The inspectors testified that he would then renovate the building and rent it out to students at a higher rate.

At the time of the conviction, city inspectors said Grewal would be forced to renovate the building and continue to rent it out to low-income tenants.

Grewal's lawyer, Peter Kletas, said his client declined to comment.

Iain Dixon, a lawyer for the city, said Grewal has appealed the conviction and would also appeal the fine.

In his reasons for sentencing, Justice of the Peace Zahid Makhdoom said he could have fined Grewal the maximum of $2,000 on each count -- for a total of $64,000 -- but because it was his first conviction and he has promised to renovate the building, he felt a lower fine was appropriate.

However, he did note the disregard Grewal had shown during the trial.

"Neither Mr. Grewal nor another defence witness demonstrated any appreciation of the fact that the people who resided at the Piccadilly were rent-paying individuals, who were paying for but were not receiving a safe and secure accommodation consistent with the health, building, and fire regulations and standards of the City of Vancouver," he wrote.

"Excepting few cosmetic repairs, Piccadilly remained a veritable Dickensenian black hole even after comprehensive and repeated inspections, work orders, verbal and written warning and [advisories]. ... Any emergency or a fire situation would likely have led to an unthinkable catastrophe."

In an interview in April, Grewal blamed the tenants for the state of the building, which, among other things, had broken plumbing, broken interior walls, faulty fire doors, faulty fire alarms, inadequate fire separation, combustible material accumulated inside and out, and obstructed rear-exit fire doors. One hotel manager adopted some rats after she realized that she could not get rid of them.

On Friday, a notice of service disconnection from given by BC Hydro. The building did not appear to have had any renovation work done on the outside, except for the former pub area.

The street-level pub, which used to host independent rock bands, has been transformed into Tunnel Multi-Lounge, a swanky nightclub. It opened in May following $600,000 worth of renovations.





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