Couples scrambling after popular wedding venue burns
Couples with weddings booked at the West Carleton Meeting Centre will have some re-booking to do after a $2 million fire early Sunday.
Ottawa fire crews said they were called to the meeting centre on 2075 Richardson Side Road at 2:31 a.m. after getting an alarm alert.
Flames were visible through the roof just minutes after they arrived, with a large section of the roof collapsing around 3 a.m.
"There is no ceiling on the entire structure, the roof is gone and the back portion of all the walls are starting to cave in, so they'll have to tear it down," said Marc Messier, spokesperson for the Ottawa Fire Services.
"They did have a wedding reception here last night and apparently they were booked up until November."
This means many couples are scrambling, having planned their dream weddings at the popular venue.
"I thought (my friend) was just playing a prank on me and I decided to Google it and see," said Matt Bedirian. "Sure enough there's a few articles on it, so it's taking a while to sink in."
He said the wedding to his fiance Julie was planned for July 14 at the meeting centre, with invitations sent out and nearly $10,000 spent on getting everything paid for.
"We were checking out venues and DJs and caterers and all that stuff, so a lot of effort went into it," he said. "Now it's a month-and-a-half away, who knows what we're going to come up with now.
"We can go into panic mode or we can (make) a plan of action and just go from there."
As with all large-scale fires, the Ottawa police's arson unit and office of the fire marshal are investigating along with Ottawa fire officials.
A friend of the owner said he's waiting to hear back from the insurance company to see what he should do next.
The West Carleton Meeting Centre's website said it was ideal for meetings of ten to 250 guests, with 6,000 square feet of meeting space and 5,000 square feet of gardens.
The building is about 30 kilometres southwest of downtown Ottawa.