Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • February-March 2024 • Circulation 5000

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Zocalo Damaged by Fire in January

Popular café and greenhouse forced to temporarily close.

Zocalo is a popular meeting and shopping destination in McCauley. Paula E. Kirman

In the early morning hours of January 4th, a fire that was started behind Zocalo spread to vehicles and the business. 

“While the direct fire damage was limited to the vehicles, back storage area, back yard, and back of [the] greenhouse, there is substantial smoke damage throughout all three buildings,” says Miranda Ringma, co-owner of Zocalo.

Zocalo, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in the fall of 2023, is located at 10826 95th Street. However, it is now closed until further notice. As of press time, Ringma did not know how long the closure would last, saying that “it looks like it will be at least two months and likely quite a bit longer.” 

The costs of the clean-up and renovations were also not yet known. “Adjusters and insurance folks are busy sorting that out. While we have decent insurance, there are always a lot of extraneous costs to be considered, and we are still absorbing this,” Ringma said.

Neighbouring businesses Love Object, Violets, and the Venetian Barber Shop were also affected by the fire and were temporarily closed. 

When the news about the fire reached the public, the community immediately began expressing its support. For example, on social media posts pertaining to the fire, people in McCauley and beyond shared their love of Zocalo and memories of time spent there. 

“We are amazed and overwhelmed by the outpouring of community support and care,” says Ringma. “We have literally hundreds of messages and so many kind words. We really are awash in the love shared by our customers, friends, and community. We truly thank them all for their care.”

There have been several other fires in the immediate area in the recent past. A fire broke out at the rooming house just north of Zocalo in November of 2023, which also caused some damage to the outside wall of the Italian Centre’s warehouse. As well, numerous fires behind the Italian Centre Shop have occurred in the past few months.  

To stay connected and to learn about ways people may be able to help, follow Zocalo on social media (@Zocalo.ca on Facebook and @ZocaloEdm on Instagram) or visit Zocalo’s website: zocalo.ca. Readers can also follow the online version of this story at Boyle McCauley News’ website (bmcnews.org) for updates.

Paula E. Kirman is the Editor of Boyle McCauley News.

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