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Soon after we were all safely back in our homes, the folks at ONNI posted on the doors of the buildings an invitation to a community barbecue party:

how nice

how nice

Today as I was going out the door for my free lunch, I noticed a second sign tacked to the first. At first glance, I actually did think it was from ONNI. “What horrible wording!” I thought:

A fine joke

A fine joke

After having gone to the thing, where they had some burgers, ice cream, and a pretty good blues band, I now realize it was a practical joke.

Here is what Woodlands looks like now:

A fine mess

A fine mess

Two crackerjack security guards are resting beneath the trees on the left, keeping us safe from the mess.

Some of you might have heard that the old, abandoned Woodlands school building caught fire this morning. For real – with flames and smoke this time. Our building was evacuated because of the risk of smoke inhalation, and risk of fire spreading.

I wasn’t home when all this was going on, so I’ve spent a worried afternoon. I’ve just gotten word that the fire is now mostly under control, and we should be able to go back to our apartment tonight.

It didn’t have to come to this however – the security around the building has been a joke, and the city and the developer have spent far too long wrangling about the heritage preservation issues rather than fixing the place up and moving on with it. In the meantime, squatters and others have taken refuge in there. I never cared whether people used the place because they needed a place to sleep, but we knew that sooner or later, there would be an accident like this that could put everyone at risk, homeowners and homeless alike.

I guess they’ll probably tear the place down, now. I’m glad I at least got some pictures of it up on my Flickr page last year, and wrote a couple posts about Woodlands.

Flickr Photos