‘Elevator from hell’ may be on the road to repair.

Eric Murphy, Centretown NewsEric Murphy, Centretown News The apartment building at 255 Metcalfe St. has been without an elevator for four months.After four months of being out of service, the lone elevator in the eight-storey apartment building at 255 Metcalfe St. should be working soon, says Gary Beach, the building’s landlord.

 “Otis is in there right now as we speak, they were in there yesterday,” Beach said Tuesday morning. Otis is the company that installed the elevator when the building went up in the 1950s.

“Otis has assured me that they’re gonna get it going real soon,” added Beach. Although the landlord does not have a specific date for completion, he says that the only reason the lift isn’t done now, is that Otis workers are waiting on one last part that will arrive within a few days.

While this fix up should certainly get the elevator moving again, some tenants aren’t convinced that another repair is a good long-term solution.
“I believe there’s a very simple solution, replace it,” says Lili Wheemen, a tenant living on the apartment’s ground floor. Wheemen was supposed to live further up in the building when she moved in five years ago, but the elevator happened to be out on the day she arrived.

Seeing the stairs above her, Wheemen quickly agreed to move into her current ground floor apartment, rather than carry her furniture up flights of steps.

Although replacing most of the elevator might seem extreme, a New York Times article responding to new American building codes in 2008 says that “an elevator’s useful life is 20-25 years.” By comparison, the elevator at 255 Metcalfe was installed roughly 60 years ago.

Wheemen has heard other tenants complain about the lift falling further and further into disrepair since she moved in. Many of them go to her with complaints because she is currently running for city councillor position for Somerset Ward in the October cic election.

“Five years ago, if it broke it was only a few days. Now if it breaks it’s for months,” she says.

Linnea McPhail, a 22-year-old living on the building’s second floor, says that even when the elevator was in service, it didn’t always work as it was supposed to.
“Sometimes you’d press two and it would bring you up to six,” McPhail says. “You’d have to take the stairs back down after that.”

McPhail also found that the elevator was out of service when she moved into 255 Metcalfe and since then she’s given up on it completely. When she has used it though, McPhail imagines that the elevator has worked around 50 per cent of the time. Of course, living on the second floor she doesn’t find the issue that inconvenient, who McPhail worries about are some of the parents living above her.

“I do see parents carrying their strollers, I have no clue what floor they live on but I really feel bad for them.”

Hopefully if Otis does come through with the repairs elevator issues in 255 Metcalfe will be a thing of the past. McPhail is looking foreword to it, as that will allow building maintenance to focus on other issues.

Earlier in the year, her shower stopped working for over a month. It’s since been repaired, but now tiny red ants pour out with the hot water.

Fortunately, McPhail says her grandmother has a working shower just a few blocks away.