Photos: Fire At Canadian Hotel On Reid Street

December 19, 2012

Twenty-five firefighters were called out last night [Dec 19] after a blaze broke out at the old Canadian Hotel on Reid Street. The fire initially began with smoke emanating from the building, but about 1 hour after the fire started flames became visible after the fire broke through the roof.

Acting Deputy Chief Lloyd Burchall from the Bermuda Fire & Rescue Service said the fire had “elements of difficulty” as it was a derelict building and access became a problem as well as the fact there are old wooden floors.

“Some of the floors are burnt through, so at this time we are being very cautious with any entrances into the building,” said Mr Burchall. “We will be conducting a search very shortly.”

The Canadian Hotel was opened in 1918 by James “Dick” Richards, with its opening marking the first time a black man in Bermuda owned a hotel licence. The Richards’ family sold the property in 1984, and it became a rooming house for men. In 2008 the new owners acquired a Special Development Order [SDO] to develop the property, but that never came to fruition.

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Category: Accidents and fires, Accidents/Fires, All, News, Photos

Comments (22)

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  1. dthtoo/ says:

    Perhaps Dick Richards is sending the African people of this island a subliminal message. Those of you who can interpret it must educate our brothers and sisters who are entangled in the web of ignorance and confusion. That message is $ave, $ave, $ave and build, build, build your own institutions as did I, and you will never again find yourselves unemployed/jobless and begging alms of the white man. Plus, you will never trample upon your integrity and sacrifice your freedom, (a freedom to vote which was made possible by your foreparents and mine through struggle,the sweat of their brows, and abuse at the hands of the white man), by voting for them as you did on December 17, 2012. Your having done so was an insult, disrespect, dishonor to them and all that they suffered to make a better life for you and I and the forthcoming generations of African people. You shall reap what you have sewn. Baba John Henrik Clarke, an African who was born in America, lecturer, historian, author and a man who truly loved the global African family and committed his life to educating us to pursue OurStory (not the one forced upon us by those from the ice-box), embrace and live it in truth, who said: “Any people who go against their own race will not succeed”.

    An African who was born in Bermuda!

    • Let's Think About This... says:

      I love how you took a fire in a derelict building, and made it a racial/political issue. Thanks also for insulting (black) people for exercising that very freedom to vote (for whoever we choose, might I add) that our ancestors worked so hard to get for us.

      On a serious note, a person should NEVER give someone governing power simply because they’re the same ethnicity/race as them. One’s ethnicity/race as nothing to do with the kind of leader a person will be. And if it does, they shouldn’t be a leader. A leader should make the best decisions for the group of people they lead as a whole, not favor a section they’re “most similar to”. Not a trait of a good leader.

    • Autumn Fire says:

      Am imissing something? Was this posted in the wrong article? I’m sure this article is about a fire, not the election….

    • Autumn Fire says:

      Oh, I see where you’re trying to go, because Dick Richards was black…

      You know, as a person of colour, I have a lot to say to your comment – more than i will write at this time…

      Those of you “us” who feel we should be entirely pro-black no matter whether we may have done wrong or right, just agree with “us” because our skin tone is similar…last I heard, the African proverb also states “it takes a village”, so please inform us (my black brother/sister) with all of your wealth you have stated to acquire, how many of us fellow brothers and sisters have you assisted, provided, employed, educated, housed, empowered financially and spiritually, we can be of a help to the next.

      Cause if you have, there are many of us who will love to share in your wealth so (not just a gimme, but many families are struggling, food, health, housing, education, employment, entrepreneurs, family break-downs, drugs, gangs, guns, etc…). Many of us are trying to help our fellow men, not because they are black, but because we are all shades of colours and people who just need help. Many of our own “kind” are the very same ones contributing to keep our own from progressing.

      Remember, we as a people have been blessed, to be a blessing to someone else, not to keep hoarding to gloat and say I have and I don’t need the white man…so, what businesses, housing, financing, education, prosperity of the mind, body, spirit have you done to advance your fellow black brothers/sisters so tht we can all be self-sufficient as a whole….tell us, so we can all share in your prosperity to bless someone else

    • fred says:

      @dthto You are an uneducated racist idiot. Why don’t you go to Africa where you follow your beliefs.

    • alex says:


      I don’t think I’ve ever been more embarrassed by a fellow citizen before. One of the most unprovoked rants of racism I’ve ever read.

      you probably don’t “overstand” what I’m talking about though.

    • Oh Please says:

      What the Hell are you talking about? OMG!!

  2. just a thought says:

    I can’t imagine Martin Luther King Jr. ever belittling his people for exercising their right TO CHOOSE to vote. The way you are speaking of “African” people is that because this right to vote was faught for it is now your inherent duty to vote for African people, regardless of the cost to self and country. This country will never truly gain ground until mindsets like yours die off. Bermudians need to work together to succeed. Bermudians need to take pride in their island again and nurture her back to health. ALL BERMUDIANS!!!

  3. Brenda Ann Correia says:

    @dthtoo….are you freakin for real! I personally know the owner of The Canadian Hotel who is a fine upstanding contributing member of the community of Hamilton city. He is white, and has worked hard all his life, and many of any race or ethenicity hold him in high regard. Those who continue to make inane remarks without knowing all the associated facts, not just the past, are tiring and,frankly most readers are quite disgusted by the limited introverted tunnel vision.
    There is no longer any need for it.
    Get out of your own way, for your own sake.

    • dthtoo/ says:

      At the outset I was referring to the history of the place, while sending a message to my people – you nit wit. I know you wouldn’t overstand the significance of my import and I will not waste my time repeating myself to you. We are going to end this right here.

      According to the above-captioned: The Canadian Hotel was opened in 1918 by James “Dick” Richards, with its opening marking the first time a black man in Bermuda owned a hotel licence.

      • dthtoo/ says:

        An extension: I am not concerned about what white man took it over. The real lessons are found in Mr. Richards’ story – ownership, wealth, self-reliance and giving back to his people. My message to my brothers and sisters, I’m sure if Mr. Richards were alive today would be, is either take control of the economics of our community or forever be at the mercy of others – dependant upon persons who do not and have never had our highest good in mind.

    • status! says:

      @BrendaCorreia—–You totally missed the point of dthtoo, the history was mentioned in the story and quite frankly everyone would just like to dismiss the hard labour by Black people to this island and the world that is often ignored. whites seem to only muster up feelings when it comes to other whites..the atroscities of Blacks by the white men have not been acknowledged and I haven’t heard anyone ask for forgiveness either. The building was originally owned by a black man and his family!!!I don’t expect for you to get it because you have been only taught one way, just a shame that all of a sudden it has been destroyed like a lot of our memories!as a nation of Black people.

      • #ArtOfWar says:

        Maybe jus a sign of things to come. The next 5yrs will either make us or break us! Labor unrest can lead to civil unrest.
        I’m going back to sleep.

  4. sickandtired says:

    How did a building on fire become a racial issue? I don’t get it and it’s sad quite frankly.

    I just hope no one was injured during this fire.

  5. plato says:

    All those buildings owned by ted powell onthat reid-court corner are/were uninsurable due to their conditions

  6. plato says:

    I understand all those buildings on the reid-court corner are uninsurable due to their conditions.

  7. Triangle Drifter says:

    The Mayan calender ran out a couple days early for that building.

  8. I wounde says:

    Firstly I hope that no one was injured and the surrounding buildings/businesses are ok. It seems rather suspect…. Let me explain. Now I could be very wrong here but hear me out. A certain large business came to that block and offered what was said to be around 3 million for the lodge but was turned down. Then soon after and could be unrelated, the Salvation Army went up in flames. Then the other businesses on that corner left (for what ever reason), and the homeless residents of the Canadian Hotel were relocated to Southside. Now a few years later the hotel goes up in flames. It would seem that someone has plans for thatlittle corner on hamilton. (not that there would be anything wrong with that) But two fires within 100 ft of each other….I dont know.