The Yukon government has decided to knock down the old Alexander McDonald Lodge home for seniors after delaying the decision for a year. (Maura Forrest/Yukon News file)

Yukon government to knock down old McDonald Lodge after all

‘It was decided by both parties that demolition would be the best way forward’

After delaying the decision for a year, the Yukon government has decided again to knock down the old McDonald Lodge continuing-care facility.

The territorial government applied for a demolition permit from Dawson City last month. The municipality sent the request back saying YG couldn’t apply to tear the building down until it provided a plan for what it was going to do with the lot afterwards.

“The site’s prime location in a high-traffic area of town could be better utilized as a public/institutional space of some kind,” said a report submitted to council.

“The building is not currently in use, but with no redevelopment plans included with the application, the demolition of this structure has little to no benefit to the City of Dawson.”

Oshea Jephson, a spokesperson for the Yukon Department of Highways and Public Works, says it’s prepared to submit the required redevelopment plan to the town in time for the next council meeting Aug. 14. Instead of proposing a new building to go on the spot, said the department will be proposing “low maintenance landscaping on that lot with some benches.”

“What happens beyond that, those discussions will follow I imagine,” Jephson said.

Dawson Mayor Wayne Potoroka said he is OK with the landscaping and benches. He said the town didn’t want the lot to remain a gravel pad.

“Would we love to have a new building here? Whether it be a palaeontology centre, or student housing for Yukon School of visual arts students or maybe an apartment… we’d love any of that stuff,” he said. “But I also know that is likely not something that will ever appear on a development permit.”

The mayor said the Yukon government needs to have a budget prepared before making those promises.

The territorial government’s original application said plans were to to tear down the old McDonald Lodge this summer. Jephson was unable to say whether the delay in getting a permit means the plans have changed.

“I imagine we’ll move as quick as we can,” he said.

The building was supposed to come down last year but Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn delayed the plans after residents questioned whether the old building could be repurposed for something else.

Jephson didn’t provide any specifics about what other options were considered over the last year.

“I know that we looked at repurposing it possibly, but as far as the cost and lifecycle of the build were concerned it just wasn’t feasible,” he said. “And working with Dawson City it was decided by both parties that demolition would be the best way forward.”

The new McDonald Lodge, attached to the Dawson hospital, opened in 2016.

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com

Dawson CityMcDonald LodgeYukon government

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New case of COVID-19 in Whitehorse

CMO says this is the first locally-acquired case but not an example of community transmission

Judge grants order to shut down Pelly Crossing bootlegger

Justice Suzanne Duncan issued the community safety order on July 17.

Watson Lake mayor resigns following fraud, forgery charges

Cheryl O’Brien is accused of defrauding the Watson Lake Riding Association

Organized sports ramp up for fall amid new restrictions

Limited summer programs have gone well, groups say

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Aug. 7, 2020

Roberta Joseph reelected as Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in chief

Unofficial results show Joseph with more than double the votes of runner-up

Development incentives considered for three projects

Projects will add 24 rental units to the market

Delegate calls for crosswalk changes to show support for people of colour

Mayor states support for idea, but cautions it could take some time

Whitehorse advises of water system maintenance

Residents on the city’s water system are being advised they may notice… Continue reading

Walkway, signs planned for West Dawson paddlewheel graveyard

Unofficial attraction may get 135-m walkway and interpretive signs, if YESAB application approved

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week. Tennis… Continue reading

Cancan show to return to Gerties

The Klondike Visitors Association announced in a press release on July 29… Continue reading

Air North named best airline

Tripadvisor named Air North the Travellers’ Choice Best Airline in Canada 2020… Continue reading

Most Read