Elements of the structure and mechanical systems at 205 Crichton Street have deteriorated and are in need of repair or replacement. Extensive structural deterioration exists within the garage and breezeway, including but not limited to: a leaking asphalt shingle roof; rotting wood roof rafters; rusted metal floor joists and beams; and, cracked concrete foundation walls. These deficiencies (typical of a building of this vintage) are due to the components’s long term exposure to moisture and freeze-thaw cycles. Given the degree of deterioration present, repair of the existing garage and breezeway would require their deconstruction, followed by the replacement of more than 50% of the structure. Without any remediation, an eventual structural failure is likely.
Although the structural components of the building’s conditioned spaces show few signs of deterioration, numerous building envelope penetrations (such as cracks in window frames and unsealed service entry points) compromise its long term structural integrity. Due to the building’s lack of insulation and an airtight building envelope, the operational cost of the building are astronomical – at least four times the cost of operating a comparable home built to current best practices in residential construction.
During the majority of the year, the temperature and air quality within the building does not meet the expectations of occupants. The heating system within the building is unbalanced, making areas of the building too warm while others are too cold. The home also lacks any form of ventilation system other than the windows or doors (not to mention the holes in the walls).
The condition of the existing building limits its sustainability, both structurally and financially. As long as occupant tolerances for safety, operational cost and comfort are challenged, the property will have limited attractiveness to prospective tenants or owner occupants. Even though New Edinburgh is one of the city’s most desirable neighbourhoods, the rental of 205 Crichton Street has been extremely difficult. Previous tenants abandoned one of the two rental units within the building after 5 months. Squatters who subsequently occupied the unit were evicted after months of disturbance to neighbours and regular police intervention. Although both units are currently occupied, the building’s carrying costs remain greater than the rental income. Without permission to create a more sustainable built form on the property, the home will become an incrementally less attractive rental dwelling and an increasingly less cohesive part of the community.
An analysis of market values and carrying costs demonstrates that the existing building is not worth improving without the opportunity to increase the number of dwelling units on the property from the existing 2 units to the 3 units originally intended in 1945.