'It's mean to us': Seniors stranded for a week after elevators at Winnipeg condo building break down
Seniors and people with mobility issues in a downtown condo building are stuck in their rooms for at least a week while building managers wait on parts for broken elevators.
The Colonnade is a 12-storey building on Edmonton Street. Several seniors and people with mobility issues live there, in addition to hundreds of others.
Linda Ross, 78, uses a walker and has had hip replacement surgery.
On Wednesday, she says she got a notice about the "out of order" elevators from the condo managers.
"I was screaming," she said.
"[I'm] all tight and mad and I can't do nothing 'cause I only have one good leg to stand on," she said.
Ross can't leave her modest one-bedroom unit to visit with other seniors on the first floor, go outside or get groceries.
"It's mean to us. I think they should all hold back our condo fees or rent and get back to them and they should pay our rent. And live like we're living," she said.
Her daughter is picking up groceries and medications for her, but she says others on her floor aren't so lucky.
The issue with the elevators occurred during boiler repairs on Tuesday, according to a spokesperson for Towers Realty Group.
Power to the elevators had to be shut off, and when it was restored, there was an electrical issue with the wiring, according to Jason Van Rooy, who does marketing and customer service for Towers Realty Group.
He said the repair company ordered parts from the United States which went on the plane Friday, and will take several days to arrive.
He added if there was an emergency, evacuation procedures don't include the elevators anyway, so people with mobility issues would still have to wait on their balconies for help.
He deferred questions about medical emergencies to the City of Winnipeg.
"Passenger elevators are considered a convenience feature to building occupants," a city spokesperson said in a statement emailed to CBC. "Residential and commercial tenancy buildings must have exit stairs."
In the event of an emergency in a building with no elevator, residents who can't use the stairs would be assisted by first responders, who have specialized equipment to help people with mobility issues get down stairs, the spokesperson said.
And while it may not be an emergency right now, the broken elevators leave Ross and many others sitting solo, watching TV and the clouds roll by. She says she doesn't feel sorry for herself, but does for the other seniors in the building.
"It's not very good. They're all trying to sit downstairs and talk to one another. How do they get back up the stairs? No elevators. I don't feel good about it at all," she said.
"Fix it and get it good because a lot of us are selling."