Elliot Lake to release 1,000 balloons on anniversary of Algo mall collapse

ELLIOT LAKE, Ont. – Residents of Elliot Lake, Ont., gather today to mark the one-year anniversary of the deadly collapse of the town’s mall.

Shortly after 2 p.m., the exact time of the collapse last June 23, they will release up to 1,000 balloons with messages attached at the ceremony, called “Remembering Together.”

The site of the Algo Centre Mall is clear of rubble now, and work on building a new mall nearby has begun. Residents who were left without their main social hub say they can barely wait for its completion.

In the interim, a judicial inquiry into the disaster that killed Lucie Aylwin and Doris Perizzolo has heard from about 60 witnesses.

They have described a badly designed, constructed and maintained mall in which water and road salt penetrated joints in the concrete and rusted steel supports.

In a Special Report for Maclean’s, Senior Writer Michael Friscolanti tells the story of that tragic day. Follow this link to hear from the ones who got out:

Find the feature at