Toronto’s Hearn Generating Station deemed unsafe for public events after fire code violations found

Click to play video: 'City of Toronto declares historic Hearn Generating Station “unsafe” for public events' City of Toronto declares historic Hearn Generating Station “unsafe” for public events
On Thursday, Aug 10, Toronto Fire Services said the Hearn Generating Station doesn't meet proper safety codes. This decision comes as the Waterfront Night Market prepares for this weekend event at the venue. Ashley Molnar reports – Aug 10, 2017

Toronto Fire Services is putting a halt to public events being hosted inside Toronto’s Hearn Generating Station until multiple fire code violations are met.

In a statement released on Thursday, Toronto fire warned the public there is a need for life safety provisions after “serious deficiencies and breaches of the Ontario Fire Code” were found at the decommissioned site.

“For example, there is no fire alarm system in the building,” Deputy Chief Jim Jessop told AM640.

“There is no emergency lighting, there are no exit signs, the number of exits required and the length of the distance to get to exits far exceed what the fire code would require.”

The statement comes just one day before the Waterfront Night Market was scheduled to begin, which currently has no approved occupancy plan in place.

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As a result, the 100 vendors and 120,000 spectators expected to take part Friday to Sunday will have to do so outside of the building on the station’s site.

Toronto fire says it has a “history of working successfully with event organizers to put the necessary life safety measures in place to safely host occasional public events at the Hearn.”

This includes the 2016 Luminato arts festival, where organizers worked with city officials and a private engineering firm to ensure safety measures were in place.

“They spent literally 10 months planning with engineers and invested several hundred thousand, upwards of a million dollars, putting in temporary fire protection systems and life safety systems that were approved by the city,” Jessop said.

Toronto Fire Services said it is working with the site lessee to ensure required fire code measures are met before future public events are held at the building.

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