Guysborough County says the historic cable station building was unsafe and had to be demolished. The end came on Tuesday of this week.

Guysborough County says the historic cable station building near Canso, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia was unsafe and had to be demolished. The end came on Tuesday of this week.
Photo Credit: Municipality of of the County of Guysborough

….Gone.  Communications historic, heritage building torn down

It was a 10 year effort to save the Commercial Cable Building in Cape Breton, but it’s gone now forever.

The building was erected in 1888 and an entire company community, Hazel Hill, was built around it for the employees and their families.

At the time and for years afterward, it was one of the world’s “high-tech” centres.

The derelict Commercial Cable Building in 2013. Although it looks solid, engineers were concerned at the time, and this summer declared in unsafe and not restorable.
The derelict Commercial Cable Building in 2013. Although it looks solid, engineers were concerned at the time, and this summer declared in unsafe and not restorable. © Shawn Forrest14- wikicommons

The centre handled thousands of telegrammes back and forth across the Atlantic between Europe and the North American continent ranging from happy birthday notices, to news of the Titanic disaster,  to war announcements, many tragic,  to important notes on business affairs and so on.

By 1966, telegrammes were outdated and the building closed and sold.

The 1914 Western Union Cable building in N Sydey, Cape Breton was torn down in August 2016.
Another historic building, the 1914 Western Union Cable building in N Sydney, Cape Breton was torn down in August 2016. © North Sydney Historical Museum)

Efforts by a local community group to save and restore it, eventually had to give up.  The building was condemned as being unsafe this summer, and its fate sealed.

The end came on Tuesday of this week.

The foundation remains with the hope that it may serve as the basis for a future building on the site.

It is not the only historic communications building to be lost on Cape Breton.

In 2016, the  old Western Union cable building in North Sydney, which opened in 1914, was torn down for much the same reasons.

The thick walls and copper roof of the old Western Union building were also no match for the power shovels last year
The thick walls and copper roof of the old Western Union building were also no match for the power shovels last year © George Mortimer/CBC

According to Canada’s National Trust, over 20 per cent of the country’s historic buildings have been lost in the last 30 years.

Additional information-sources

Rcinet: Aug 25/17: Going, going….

CBC: S Bradley: Aug 15/16 Old Western Union building gone

National Trust Canada: list of worst losses heritage buildings

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3 comments on “….Gone.  Communications historic, heritage building torn down
  1. Fabio Tagetti says:

    Even the shovels are saying: ‘Oh deere me!’

  2. Fabio Tagetti says:

    We are our past, a piece of us has died

  3. Peter Ashcroft says:

    When a new building is placed on this site, it needs a plaque recording the old transatlantic telegraph station that was standing there.