Locals were delighted to have an LCBO in Virgil open recently, but customers shopping in the store on the weekend began complaining about a strong odour last weekend, with the mystery of the cause remaining unsolved for days.
The investigation was thorough and eliminated many possibilities, said property developer Greg Chew at the end of a day of testing Monday. it wasn’t gas-related or off-gassing, the HVAC system was checked, no dead animal had been found, there was no problem with air quality — the cause at that point remained unknown.
He was at the store on Sunday after being informed of the problem, and agreed there was an odour he couldn’t identify. When he returned Monday morning he said he couldn’t smell anything.
His company constructed the shell of the building and turned it over to the LCBO, which then completed the same interior it has across the province, he said.
The odour is sporadic, he said, and the responsibility of the LCBO.
“We’re still trying to figure it out, putting our full resources into it. And we’ll continue to work at it.”
Resident Julia Buxton Cox was in the store Sunday, and contacted Chew as well as sending an email to LCBO George Soleas, who had attended the opening of the store the week before.
“The smell hits you like a brick as soon as you enter. I immediately felt nauseous and now have a headache,” she said in her email to Soleas Sunday.
She heard from staff there had been several complaints from customers and some employees reported headaches, but that could not be confirmed.
Staff were told not to talk to the media and the CEO did not respond to an email.
“We’ve gone through a lot of ‘could be’s,” said Chew, eliminating all the obvious potential sources. “We simply don’t know what it is.”
He said to say more would be speculation, and stressed the issue was being taken seriously and every effort was being made to find the cause of the odour.