The former Bavarian Meat Products butcher shop on Wallace Street is now under new ownership.
A cleanup crew in airtight suits completely emptied an abandoned butcher shop containing eight tonnes of spoiled meat in North Bay, northern Ontario. The operation lasted more than four days.
No one wanted this project. But I reminded my team that we clean floods, sewers, mold, fires, crime scenes and we cleaned in the middle of COVID, explains David Ladouceur, whose cleaning company Winmar Property Restoration was hired to clean up the mess.
The doors of the Bavarian Meat Products butcher shop had been closed since October 2021. The previous owners left behind hooks, freezers and many shelves full of produce, which attracted swarms of flies and created a foul smell that spread in the neighborhood.
I'm sure some people have already smashed their freezers and ruined the food inside. These people understand what it is – the scent and how it changes over time. The difference is that here, it happens on 14,000 square feet, he continues.
He estimates that the amount of meat thrown away would fill seven dumpsters with 20 cubic meters.
“It's something no one wanted to do, but it has to be done.
—David Ladouceur, Owner of Winmar Property Restoration
The cleaners teamed up with an exterminator to remove the flies, a process that took several hours. When the site was purged of bugs, Mr. Ladouceur's team was finally able to make their way through the building.
At the mercy of the law
The City of North Bay forced the building's new owners to hire Mr. Ladouceur's company after receiving complaints that there was an invasion flies in a nearby garage.
We could not enter because the City has no jurisdiction inside. We tried to get in under bylaws or property standards, but we didn't have jurisdiction either because there was no building code violation, says the councilwoman and Deputy Mayor Tanya Vrebosch.
It was necessary to go through the local media to put pressure on the owners of the land since the City was unable to reach the people of the butchery.< /p>
“We thought that now that the building is for sale, it was time to talk about this story. We have done everything and we have not found the means to enter and clean up legally.
—Tanya Vrebosch, North Bay City Councilman
Her father, Bill Vrebosch, who is also a city councilor, says the city was at the mercy of the law.
This is absenteeism on the part of the owner. It shows that there is no local control, he believes.
The day he locked the doors, he should have given the meat to someone one, to a food bank or to families in need. But he chose to waste it all, the chosen one continues.
The reason the butcher shop was abandoned is unknown. CBC has attempted to contact the previous owners, without success.
For his part, Mr. Ladouceur commends the work of his team, which he says accepted this challenge with flying colors.
They tell jokes. They work as if nothing had happened and like soldiers. I tip my hat to them. They haven't been negative, he says.
The eight tonnes of spoiled meat from the butchery will be sent to the North Bay dump, which expects more in the days to come.
Features Casey Stranges, CBC