August 16, 2019 4:27 pm
Updated: August 16, 2019 8:18 pm

Mayor Ed Holder highlights instances of Canada-wide support in wake of Old East Village explosion

WATCH ABOVE: On Friday, many residents were allowed to return home after an explosion that decimated a home and rendered several others unsalvageable. Shallima Maharaj reports.


Less than 48 hours after a crash triggered an explosion that levelled a home in Old East Village and caused up to $15-million in damage, London mayor Ed Holder is highlighting words of encouragement and offers of support from across the country.

READ MORE: Majority of residents displaced by Old East Village explosion allowed to return home

Story continues below

Speaking on London Live with Mike Stubbs on 980 CFPL, Holder described a phone call he had with Mississauga’s mayor, Bonnie Crombie, on Thursday.

Holder first met Crombie when he was Conservative MP for London West and she was a Liberal MP for Mississauga—Streetsville.

“When Mississauga went through its very significant train derailment, some of the things associated with the chemicals and the impact it had on residents, and so she was commiserating and really wished London well,” he explained.

“[She] offered their emergency services up to us in any sense we could use them. There was a tremendous generosity of spirit through that phone call.”

Holder also heard from others across Canada on a government, personal, and business level.

“Friends from Saskatchewan, Toronto, I’ve mentioned Mississauga to you, and the East Coast. Just people that know London have great regard for it,” Holder said.

“Look, this is a national story and there’s a genuine empathy and concern for London from people all across the country.”

On Friday afternoon, city officials announced that early estimates from the fire department peg total damage at $10- to $15-million.

The recovery and cleanup effort continues on Woodman Avenue, with eight homes still deemed unsafe, all on that street. City officials say one home was destroyed in the blast and one will be demolished Friday evening. The status of a third home remains “undetermined” but it could potentially be demolished.

READ MORE: Benefit concert to raise money for Old East Village residents after London explosion

Amidst the destruction, Holder told 980 CFPL he was touched by those who call Old East Village home.

“They just are phenomenal in terms of it’s an indomitable spirit. They really, I think, inspired Londoners,” he said.

“You talk about the generosity of others and it’s all true but generosity of folks just from Old East Village to help each other and then Londoners surrounding, putting our arms around Old East Village and saying, ‘we’re here to help’ and you saw it through financial donations, food donations, donations of clothing.”

The Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office has released the scene back to the city. In a news release Friday afternoon, city officials also noted that additional security has been added “to the neighbourhood to protect the homes that have been compromised.”

WATCH: (Aug. 15) Video shows aftermath of massive explosion that jolted a London, Ont. neighbourhood and forced the evacuation of 100 homes

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.