Scrubbing down the Canada Games Centre

The Canada Games Centre is being cleaned with toothbrushes, after last month’s fire. “I was doing a tour last week and there were eight people cleaning this room,” said indoors facilities manager Art Manhire.

The Canada Games Centre is being cleaned with toothbrushes, after last month’s fire.

“I was doing a tour last week and there were eight people cleaning this room,” said indoors facilities manager Art Manhire. “One of them was up on scaffolding with a toothbrush going into a junction box in the ceiling to clean it out. It’s that invasive.

“When I came into my office this morning they’d taken the pens and pencils out of my cups and they cleaned every single one of them.”

Literally every surface that was touched by smoke and soot has to be cleaned, he said.

Despite the arduous process, cleanup and repairs are right on track, said Manhire.

On Monday, the children’s play area and the fitness area, PhysioPlus, reopened.

The wellness centre is poised to open Tuesday, and all the concession areas are ready to go.

The work has been broken up into five phases, said Manhire.

“We were hoping to have phase two open before the end of the month and we’ve been successful with that, so now we’re working on the staging for the next three phases,” he said. “We’re hoping to get even more services up and running within the next two to three weeks.”

While the air quality testing has shown “excellent results,” people with extreme sensitivity or respiratory problems should be careful, said Manhire.

“We’re being very cautious about what we potentially expose people to,” he said. “We’ve got containment areas built in to the centre for the next two phases of the restoration work as well, so we don’t cross contaminate anything.”

Manhire is optimistic that everything will be up and running in time for the peak season.

But he isn’t making any promises.

“We kind of have a clear view of three days, four days from now and after that it becomes a little hazy,” he said.

The cleanup is going well, but the structural damage to the biggest challenge.

“Structural engineers are working on developing the list of materials that we’re going to need and getting those ordered and getting the jobs set up,” he said.

The Canada Games Centre usually brings in about $250,000 in revenue each month.

The city has tried to offset these losses by moving some programing to other facilities, but it is still taking a hit.

Just how much money has gone up in smoke hasn’t been calculated.

“But the longer we’re out the harder we’re hit,” said Manhire. “We do have coverage for business interruption and that will be a discussion to have with the insurance company at the end of it all to see what we can recover.”

Contact Josh Kerr at

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