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Dating back to the 19th century, St Michael’s Hospital has undergone massive renovation over the decades. In 2016, PDI was contracted to perform the demolition of a 17 storey stairwell located between the old building and what was to become the new Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower. PDI won the World Demolition Awards for Contract of the Year Under US$1 Million for this project.

Operating in tight quarters in the heart of downtown Toronto is no problem for our PDI team. With experienced operators and the right equipment, this job was a great success. The St. Michael’s Hospital selective demolition was a challenging job due to the nature of the reinforced concrete stairwell; everything had to be engineered and calculated to be lifted out by an onsite tower crane.

The first step was to remove the cladding in order to reveal the structure. Once the swing stage work was completed, structural demolition began with removal of the roof slab, using a Brokk 100 robotic excavator. Each slab lifted by the crane had to be cleared of extraneous debris so that nothing would come loose during transport.

The challenge with demolishing a stair tower is that nothing is level, so our engineering team designed and fabricated a self-levelling platform to work from as they cleared wall blocks, one at a time, by hand. This platform was installed and moved down through the floors as demolition progressed, helping us make short work of the removal.

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The project was valued at $400,000

PDI recycled 95% of the waste generated from this demolition site

This project commenced in December 2016


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It’s a fully operating hospital. St. Michael’s is a trauma centre, one of the three trauma centres in Toronto so there are helicopters landing and every level of this hospital has patients in it. The vibrations transfer through concrete like it does every other building and we had to really minimize that. We can’t be disrupting any of the operations inside the hospital.




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