Following the order to close Lila's Block in Kenora, municipal leaders are paying closer attention to health regulations. Doctor Kit Young-Hoon is the medical officer of health for the Northwestern Health Unit.
"There's very little actual regulation as it applies to boarding homes, so there's an opportunity," she said, during her presentation to the Kenora District Municipal Association.
In the decision issued by Justice D.C. Shaw at the end of December, it said the second and third floors of the building at 117 Main Street was "being used as a boarding house and a drug house," in contravention of current zoning.
"From my perspective, we weren't trying to avoid our position or avoid our responsibilities. At the same time, we have to think about the health of the population, and shifting the problem from one area to another wasn't protecting the overall health of the population," Young-Hoon added Friday.
Staff with the City of Kenora have said they aren't considering any further legal action, after a court order was issued at the end of December to close the old Dalmore Hotel on Main Street.
However, two buildings at the corner of Matheson and McLellan are now for sale, after they were damaged by fire last year. During a delegation to the province's finance committee last month, the city also asked Queen's Park for further incentives, in an effort to get landlords to upgrade and create residential units.
With Phase IV of downtown revitalization expected this summer, and the resource economy showing signs of resurgence, the city is in a unique position to upgrade its downtown housing stock at the same time. There are even signs the district, province and federal government may contribute funds to assist, following the signing of a housing agreement between Ottawa and Queen's Park last year.
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