Historic Ottawa building is reduced to rubble

The abandoned Sir John Carling Building collapses as it is being demolished with a controlled...

The abandoned Sir John Carling Building collapses as it is being demolished with a controlled implosion in Ottawa July 13, 2014. The employees in the former Agriculture Canada building were relocated several years ago due to asbestos concerns. (REUTERS/Blair Gable)

Dani-Elle Dube, Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:41 AM ET

OTTAWA -- Five seconds and one push of a button.

That's all it took to erase 47 years of Ottawa history Sunday morning.

Hundreds of people gathered in Commissionaire's Park at Dow's Lake and the O-Train Carling Station to watch the historic Sir John Carling building be demolished.

The building was the old site of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada headquarters.

"He's really excited to see how the whole thing works," said Krystal Maher, 32, about her three-year-old son Liam.

"He is really into construction and he calls himself a 'worker man'. This is something that would be cool for him and that he could learn about."

"We saw the announcement mid-week in the paper and I thought this would be cool to see," said Don Maher, 59.

"So we figured we'd get up early on a Sunday morning and watch it come down. It's a family affair."

The first warning siren sounded a half hour prior to the controlled implosion, following one at 15 minutes and five minutes. Five explosions were heard and, within seconds, the building was rubble.

"It was fantastic," said Don. "It was a lot louder than I thought it would be."


The building known for close to 50 years as the 11-storey Sir John Carling Building was imploded early Sunday, July 13, 2014 as hundreds watched. The building was reduced to rubble in less than 10 seconds using more than 800 pounds of explosives. (Dani-Elle Dube/QMI Agency)

Click here for more photos of the Sir John Carling Building being demolished

"(My family) each had different perspectives on how it would blow," said spectator Richard Whyte.

"It ended up that the centre cascaded a little bit and it just all sort of rolled in on itself. It's too bad that it wasn't a little slower because then you could really appreciate it a little more."

One Ottawa man had a little fun with the demolition. A video posted on YouTube plays out like a scene from an action movie, complete with a slow motion walk away from the falling building.


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