TRURO - Fred Bitar stood on the sidewalk with a mug of coffee in his hand and watched while the Victorian era home he co-owned with his brother was reduced to rubble.
"It wasn't an easy decision to make," said Bitar, adding the decision was made last winter to demolish the home built in the early 1900s that sat on the corner of Arthur and Willow streets in Truro.
"It's an old building. I liked it because it was really unique. I liked the looks of it."
By about 10 a.m. Thursday, the front half of the three-storey home was in pieces on the ground, with work continuing on the rest.
"It really is ‘wow,'" Bitar said. "It's awkward to watch."
While it sat vacate for almost a year, the building had most previously housed three units of tenants.
"We vacated the house about a year ago," he said.
Bitar and his brother, Anwar, purchased the Stonehouse Motel and Restaurant adjacent to the home in 1999. Shortly thereafter, the house next to it became theirs.
Looking at the demolition process, Bitar said the siblings have somewhat of an idea of what to do with the property once it's cleared.
"It will have something to do with the Stonehouse, but the economy isn't really good right now," he said, not wanting to elaborate on the idea the brothers have.
As Bitar walked around the property to keep an eye on things, passersby - both walking and driving - couldn't help but watch the action.
For Robert MacEachern, the demolition came as a surprise.
"I never knew about it until I turned the corner," he said, while out for a walk. "I walked by about two weeks ago and I heard people inside doing some work, so I was hoping they would be doing repairs. It's a shame."
MacEachern said it's harder for both tenants and landlords to keep up with aging homes, such as this one.
"I think this is a good thing - it looks like it was in bad shape as the years went by."
Later in the afternoon, most of the building was gone, other than a side portion of the home.
Tenants in the apartment building on Kaulback Street just behind the house watched the action from a window.
"Wow, that's a surprise," said a woman as she walked by with an umbrella.