'It's gone, and it's absolutely beautiful': Decrepit former Admirals Beach fish plant removed
A tiny community on Newfoundland's southern Avalon Peninsula that was built on fishing is now celebrating the demolition and removal of its former fish plant.
The fish plant in Admirals Beach closed more than two decades ago and has been slowly rotting away, but the plant was finally removed in early November.
Mayor Theresa Bungay says it's exciting to see the old building removed and the surrounding area cleaned up.
"It's gone, and it's absolutely beautiful," she told CBC News on Friday.
"What a difference to go down there on top of that hill and look out and see the ocean and all level land and no ruins and no debris."
It was horrible. I mean, a big building just falling down, pieces everywhere. - Theresa Bungay
The town's former fish plant was built in the 1970s, Bungay said. She even worked in the plant for a number of years.
But after the province's cod moratorium, the plant on St. Mary's Bay closed and the former owner left the community. The plant was left to fall to ruin.
Bungay said it was an eyesore.
"Oh my goodness, the plant, it was horrible. I mean, a big building just falling down, pieces everywhere, residents having to look at that for years and years, it was just terrible," she said.
The mayor said the collapsing building could be seen from throughout the town, but it was even worse for those who live nearby.
"They've been so upset, they've been living like that for so many years," she said.
"Just to get up in the morning, sit down and have your coffee and look at that? Like, I mean, come on."
Bungay said past town councils have attempted to have the building removed, with no success. She said it took hard work from the town and MHA Sherry Gambin-Walsh to bring the issue to the premier's attention.
In a Facebook post, Gambin-Walsh said it took seven years of advocating to have the plant taken down.
Now that the building has been removed, Bungay said the town can finally get to work on a tourism plan and efforts to beautify the area near the wharf.
She said she'd like to see a new slipway dock for small boats and to make the area accessible for visitors with kayaks.
"We couldn't do anything, we were just held up.… This is a really big start for us," she said.