THE DEMOCRATIC REPORTER
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Toronto Star - June 28, 2007 11:11 AM - By Bill Taylor, Features Writer
Lakeview power station demolished
After causing two postponements earlier in the week, the wind finally blew in the right direction -- out over the lake -- this morning and what was once the world's biggest coal-fired power station crashed out of existence.
The Lakeview Generating Station in Port Credit imploded in a thunder of sound and a cloud of dust that the wind carried away from the community. Murray Demolition had its own weather station on-site to monitor conditions. The breeze was crucial: 10 km/h minimum north or northwesterly.
Originally scheduled for first thing Monday, the demolition was put off until Wednesday. But a three-hour window for setting off the charges passed with the wind blowing steadily the wrong way. Onlookers, including former plant employees, went away disappointed.
Yesterday, the chief concern was that the breeze wasn't strong enough. A projected blast time of 7:30 a.m. was pushed back two and then three hours as the wind teased and flirted with the flag flying at the McMillan Headland Park marina.
But, finally, the warning siren howled and the 32,000-square-metre monolith -- looking rather like a Soviet-era apartment building -- folded up on itself like a giant's house of cards as the explosives severed crucial structural columns.
The Lakeview Generating Station opened in 1962 -- it began producing power a couple of weeks before the Leafs won the Stanley Cup -- and closed in 2005. Local residents say it was a major polluter and are concerned by reports that a gas-fired station may be built on the site. They're asking for a health study to be carried out first.
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