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'The roof would have fallen on me': Toronto resident speaks out after condo gym's ceiling collapses

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Sharif Abdala said he was working out at his condo building’s gym Wednesday night when the ceiling collapsed and debris nearly fell on top of him.

It happened at around 11:15 p.m. inside Reunion Crossing, the newer condo complex located at 1808 St. Clair Avenue West, just east of Old Weston Road.

Although he was wearing headphones, he said he could hear soft noises like wood cracking before hearing a much louder sound.

When he looked up, he said he saw the ceiling was bent. Abdala said he told the only other person in the gym, a woman on a treadmill, to get out and run.

“If it fell without those warning noises, I would have been in the hospital,” Abdala told CTV News Toronto. “If I stayed there, the roof would have fallen on me.”

In the photos, the ceiling can be seen covering most of the gym floor, swallowing equipment in what appears to be grey debris and beige insulation. Some wiring is also seen dangling overhead.

Ceiling collapses over a Toronto condo's fitness facility on Nov. 1. (Supplied)

A spokesperson of the development company told CTV News Toronto no injuries were reported.

"We can confirm an isolated incident yesterday in our condominium community ... in which a finishing detail in the design of our fitness facility became dislodged from the ceiling," Danny Roth, on behalf of Diamond Kilmer Developments, told CTV News Toronto in a statement. Toronto Fire Services said they were not dispatched to the building.

The area has been temporarily closed off to make way for an investigation and "necessary repairs," Roth said.

"As the incident appears to have resulted from the failure of a design element, our construction consultants and engineers continue to advise that there is no concern as to the structural integrity of the units or building structure itself," the statement read.

The building's construction commenced in June 2020, following delays brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the condo's construction updates online.

Abdala said he feels lucky he managed to escape, and happy he was able to warn the woman on the treadmill. But, Abdala also said this close call has pushed him to look for a new place to live. 

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