I’ve written previously about the City of Toronto’s flagrant disrespect for and abuse of it’s taxpayers, but this most recent development simply takes the cake!
I’ve told you about how the City has grabbed million of dollars in Permit Fees, building fees, while promoting a $3.5 Million restoration of College Park only to decimate the park.
There are a dozen townhouses situated immediate behind two of the towers known as College Park I and College Park II.
Each tower has approximately 500 residential units and each and every one of those consumers were promised this $3.5 Million restoration but for a decade all they received was the trashing of the park where the City shut off all irrigation systems thereby killing most of the vegetation.
Barbara Ann Scott skating rink, a historic venue in the city had always been maintained with a multi spout fountain all summer and the skating rink during the winter.
The entire three tower development at College Park is built over and around the developer’s privately owned parking garage. Such structures need maintenance every couple decades and this one is no exception.
The false promotion of a $3.5 Million restoration of the park is simply money (generated through the sale of all those 2,000 condo units now that Phase III is completed) that the developer needed to maintain their asset.
But what a marketing campaign it has been.
The townhouses were call the Park View Towns and for just one year those consumers/tax payers enjoyed the park at its best.
But one year after the sale of the townhouses and having pocketed all that cash from three towers including the country’s largest, City apparently did the developer a major favour by shutting off all the watering to the greenery, shutting off the fountain, ridding owners of the park and allowing it to become a dangerous place and an eyesore to the city.
For all these years, this City has collected property taxes while not even delivering the fully funded services to maintain the park, fountain and skating rink.
City officials published full colour brochures touting their achievements in negotiating the $3.5 Million deal!
And it has been a total sham!
The unfortunate townhouse owners (they run in the $1.5 million price range) have not even been given the courtesy of being kept up to date with any developments in the almost decade that this catastrophe has been allowed to permeate.
Today, unannounced they have started tearing out the front door walk ways that are the primary access to the twelve townhouses.
The townhouse owners pay approximately $1,000/month in maintenance fees which is supposed to supply professional management.
(I’ll be posting a blog on how owners are ripped off by their property managers shortly).
I visited the property manager for College Park II this morning, who admitted to me that he knew nothing at all about it. I was informing him for the first time that the front lawns of the townhouses were actually already in the process of being removed!
I guess it wouldn’t offend me so much if there was any place anywhere along the line where the consumer/tax payer gets any respect?
The front lawns of these townhouse are “City property” and despite having been promised a “front yard fence” only to never receive one, it has been difficult to watch the flagrant abuse of these tax payers for almost a decade now.
This really is emblematic of everything that is wrong in Condoland and its why I no longer invest in or recommend investing in Condoland.
I’ve bumped into a number of clients on the street and consistently the number one topic of conversation starts with “never again from plans“.
The consensus is that “you cannot believe a word that is said to you“!
From a dysfunctional Condo Act, to a senseless Tarion Warranty, to an outdated and unenforced Building Code, to materially faulty materials and workmanship, to misleading and misrepresentative advertising practices, to unrealistically one-sided and unfair contracts that totally lack protection for the consumer, to buildings delivered by the “lowest bids” submitted by unqualified and uncertified contractors, the absolute list of consumer damaging practices coupled with the entire infrastructure to Condoland has led us to an economic tsunami that has yet to be addressed.
I haven’t been blogging lately as I’ve been doing serious research into what I see as a tsunami that stands to potentially devastate Condoland (condos everywhere throughout Canada).
I’ve been looking into the technology by which condos are built today.
It’s not difficult to comprehend, as they are basically “poured concrete” and “glass“.
In the good old days of condos they had walls with windows inserted into them which really wasn’t a stretch by construction terms.
Then the residential condo market caught on to “window wall technology” and/or “Curtain Wall” (glass walls floor to ceiling) and today we see these glass towers everywhere.
Hey, they look impressive and they are kind of like Logo blocks in that they are easier to erect certain for high rise.
We’ve all kind of adjust to those frequent showers of glass that Condoland has become known for.
But my fear is of an economic nature for the consumer/tax payer (collectively “owner“) who is ultimately responsible in the end . . . always!
I’ve been looking into the manner by which these window wall systems are installed and am, quite frankly, shocked to learn of a drastic lack of oversight that allows serious installation deficiencies to be built into each of these new potential slums of the future!
This technology is “designed to fail” after a certain number of years.
Don’t confuse residential condo towers with commercial towers. That’s like saying “two cars are both German but one is a Volkswagen and the other a Mayback“!
Here’s the logic, one buyer equals big demand for quality construction. One company, for example Olympia & York builds on massive high-rise commercial tower like “First Canadian Place” in Toronto’s Financial District.
Top builders are employed to build commercial towers.
I’ve learned that this is where the true value of Unions rests. Every aspect of every building has oversight with someone always able to be backtracked to identify who did what.
In residential condo construction you have 50o or so buyers and thereby no such oversight and/or regulation.
And that’s right, you guessed it . . . . . “fox is guarding the hen house“!
All of this is going to be clearly laid out here at simplycharles.com.
With the lack of oversight we see construction quality drop off to the extreme.
I have recently been shown photographs of two high density high rise condominium towers in Condoland, (for example), both of which have these window walls and/or curtain walls improperly installed.
This means that their warranty (usually 15 years) is seriously compromised and may deteriorate at accelerated rates.
Imagine if your floor to ceiling windows on your 75th floor condo proved deficient.
What do you think it may cost you, the owner to replace them?
Oh, the condo corporation is responsible!?
But the condo corporation is you, each and every owner!
And you bought with only 10% down thanks to CMHC insurance.
How long would CMHC last if Condoland started crumbling due to this simple construction deficiency that seems epidemic across Condoland.
If the window walls go and have to be replaced, you are going to have to move at least until they get them replaced.
How long might that take?
These are all real questions that I’m going to be asking over next few months while completing my research.
The financial implications of this impending threat will prove insurmountable and could quite conceivably spill over into our entire economy.
I’m legitimately concerned!
And possibly you should be too.