In the world of digital news, electronic invitations, emails and 3D home printers, the glory days of the commercial printing presses are long past.
The company printed books, pamphlets, and, for a part of its history, the town's newspaper, now the St. Thomas Times-Journal.
The iconic headquarters of The Sutherland Press, Ltd. was one of the biggest and best of its time. The building, located in downtown St. Thomas, was constructed in 1910. I'm not sure when it became vacant, but, in 2008, its structural integrity was so poor that the City of St. Thomas secured a demolition permit without the approval of the building's owner, an absentee developer from Toronto, after parts of the building crumbled to the sidewalk, endangering pedestrians.
A court order revoked the demolition permit, but for the past eight years, the building's status has been in flux. The owner wanted to convert the facility into luxury loft condominiums, but appears to have halted those plans. Earlier in 2015, the city gave the owner an ultimatum: tear it down, or reinforce it. The owner opted to do the latter, hence the scaffolding and wooden supports that have been installed.
Upon exploration, I thought these reinforcements were because of ongoing construction. Further research shows that they are actually just the bear minimum required to keep the building standing, based on city hall's requirements.
In September, 2015, the roof and a part of the top floor collapsed.
NOTE: This is a century-old building that has had the bare minimum of structural maintenance done to it. The flooring is VERY sketchy. On the top two levels, stick to the outside only to be safe, or, better yet, walk only where you see the supports are there. Several parts of the floor are gone entirely.