700 soap bars used to move 220-tonne building in Canada , Latest World News - The New Paper

700 soap bars used to move 220-tonne building in Canada

A 220-tonne, centuries-old building in Canada was relocated with the help of 700 soap bars.

The unconventional move of the Elmwood building in Halifax city on the east coast province of Nova Scotia was done by construction company S. Rushton in early December.

“After weeks of preparation, the move of 30 feet (9m) went as smooth as… soap. About 700 bars of it,” the company said in a Dec 8 post on its Facebook page, accompanied by a time-lapse video of the move.

The building was constructed in 1826 as a residence, before being made into a hotel 70 years later. It later became an apartment building.

The Elmwood was slated for demolition in 2018 but a real estate company, Galaxy Properties, saved it by buying the building the same year.

Galaxy Properties wanted to relocate the building 300m nearer to the street and place it on a new foundation, and attach it to a nine-storey residential apartment project.

S. Rushton’s owner, Mr Sheldon Rushton, realised the challenge of moving the nearly 200-year-old building, and decided to use Ivory soap bars to do it, the brand he said was “the softest”.

His wife, Mrs Leanne Rushton, went to 15 shops to buy all 700 bars of the soap.

“We didn’t use (traditional) rollers, we use Ivory soap to give us a smooth glide,” Mr Rushton told public broadcaster CBC Nova Scotia.

The soap bars were placed on more than a dozen steel beams under the building. The weight of the building helped to crush the soap until the beams became slippery.

With the help of two excavators and a tow truck, the building was pulled to its location to allow room for a new foundation, Mr Rushton said.

The Elmwood will be moved again once its new foundation is completed, added Mr Rushton.

This is not the first time soap has been used to move structures.

The Utah Department of Transportation has used soap to move bridges, the most recent being in April 2023, when it used 60 litres of Dawn liquid soap to move a 2,400-tonne bridge 33.5m.

In 2016, construction workers in the US state of Missouri also used dish-washing liquid to slide a bridge into place.


Some time lapse from Yesterdays move! Yesterday, the historic Elmwood hotel in South End Halifax, made its first...

Posted by S. Rushton Construction- House Moving Experts on Friday, December 8, 2023