The Crucil and Dalby families celebrated the new future of the Dalby’s site at a small ground-breaking ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)

The Crucil and Dalby families celebrated the new future of the Dalby’s site at a small ground-breaking ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)

Dalby’s Automotive to be demolished, soil remediation work begins soon

The Crucils have broken ground on their condo development at the former site of Dalby’s Automotive

The Crucil brothers have broken ground on their condo development project at the former site of Dalby’s Automotive.

On June 2, the old Dalby’s building at 201/203 Dogwood Drive will be demolished. Dalby’s has stood on the corner of Dogwood Drive since the 1930s and has sat vacant for the last 15 years.

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A small ceremony was held to honour the history of the property. Classic cars were displayed out front of Dalby’s and members of the Dalby family were invited to share their memories.

“There’s a lot of memories here,” said Lynn Halkett. Halkett grew up as Lynn Dalby and spent many years in the business. “I used to come down here after school in Grade one and help wash cars.”

“One of the things I remember most of all, I’d say ‘Dalby’s Service’ and there was always a little old lady on the other end. They would never talk to me, they had to talk to either Ralph or Howard to make an appointment.” ‘

Ralph and Howard Dalby were the longtime owners of Dalby’s Automotive.

Halkett says she’s happy to see the property is being developed by the Crucil brothers and she always hoped to see the property redeveloped.

RELATED: Council talks next steps for seniors rental housing on Dalby’s site

Once the building is demolished contractors will begin to remove the contaminated soil beneath Dalby’s. Testing has shown that hydrocarbon contaminants from the former automotive service shop are present in the soil and have migrated down Forward Road.

While contractors are on-site for the demolition and soil removal they will also work with the Town of Ladysmith to replace the water line on Forward Road.

Environmental consultants will be on-site to monitor the soil removal. The process is expected to take approximately four to five weeks. Once the soil removal is completed, consultants will work with the Ministry of Environment to complete the requirements for remediation. The site will be monitored throughout the construction period and afterwards to ensure that the contaminants have been remediated.

“The approval could take a few months to finalize, then we’ll start construction after that” property agent, Toby Seward of Seward Developments Inc. said. “We’re working with the Town of Ladysmith to make sure all our permits are in place. Once we have all of our approvals then away we go.”

Seward said that construction work is likely to be later in 2021 or early 2022. Construction of the building is expected to take at least a year with an estimated move-in ready date of spring 2023.

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