On the surface I realize that it may appear that I’m upset with or isolating my “to-be” new city of residence but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
From the moment I exit the QEW on my way to inspect my “to-be” new home, the sanctity of this lakefront community of Bronte creeps over me like some kind of soothing balm!
It’s like a weight if literally lifted off of you!
For instance, when I do my usual “big city jay walking” in Oakville, the traffic stops and waves me across in front of them.
This is certainly refreshing as in Toronto, you’d be honked at, given the bird, and threatened by angry hostile drivers (driven that way by the ineptitude of City Council’s inability to plan and institute any new roads despite massive population growth in the downtown core).
Hey! China built a bridge from Macau to Hong Kong! And they built another amazing bridge through a mountain range (kind of a modern day Great Wall of China feat)!
City of Toronto apparently can’t figure out how to build, expand, or maintain roads!
I’ve been a little bit hard on the Municipality of Oakville lately, because some rather questionable or shaky language in a Settlement Agreement has left some of my “to-be” neighbours “hanging out to dry“, making them live in a disaster area being called as a construction zone.
And granted, these people do have a lot to be upset with!
And I remain convinced that they were “left hanging out to dry” but not intentionally.
You see in my almost four decades in Condoland (Toronto) I have never seen any municipality require that developers complete a site before imposing Occupancy but that’s what the Subdivision stipulated.
I still haven’t gotten to the bottom of how all this dysfunction came about as the Subdivision Agreement was quite specific and that specificity required that all the grading, landscaping and exterior fencing had to be completed prior the ANY Occupancy (emphasis on “ANY“).
Well apparently, the Municipality doing things as usual, issued Occupancy Permits although the Municipal Inspector that I cornered on site was quick to emphasize that the Occupancy Permit was really just to inform people that the houses could be occupied, but that they did not intend people to move in right away.
Well, to a builder, (like “Sunrise Homes”) especially this money grubbing builder the Occupancy Permits were a license to impose that every buyer Close on demand (the Sunrise’s “demand”), which Sunrise was more than quick and happy to execute!
Those Occupancy Permits should never have been issued, clear and simple, but they were and Sunrise Homes was quick to capitalize on the error by slamming everyone of their buyers with Occupancy Notices despite the homes and entire neighbourhood being a disaster zone!
I had a similar experience in Toronto over the insulting manner by which consumers were used or abused to say it more accurately, and I tried to resolve issues with John Tory, (Toronto’s Mayor) following having met with a litigator who told me that all owners in College Park may have a valid Claim for Damages for having the City allow the charade about the “$3.5 Million Park Renovation” (actually money the developer would have had to spend to repair the leaking parking garage it owns masquerading as a negotiated fee to redo the park – I’m still betting that the majority of that money goes to fixing the garage as opposed to being invested in a park” – stay tuned!).
We’ll have to see once the park is finished and we can get access to the financial records, but I’m betting we’ll find yet another consumer exploitation!
I wrote to Toronto’s Mayor outlining the comments of a litigator saying that all of the shafted consumers may be entitled to serious compensation for this decade standing misrepresentation, telling him that I wasn’t interested in a law suit and that I was confident that we could work things out, and I then hand delivered my letter to City Hall (the Mayor’s office) I didn’t even receive the courtesy of a reply.
Yes, it was insulting, yes it was offensive, and no nothing was ever done to restore the integrity of the City or serve the consumers.
Toronto obviously has a mentality of “sue us if you want to talk“.
This is disappointing because law suits are expensive, time consuming and costly for the City to defend against.
But obviously Toronto’s Mayor (John Tory) prefers to allow consumers to suffer and impose on them that the only way to complain is through the Courts.
Civilized people should not act this way, especially when its an elected official responding to a reasonable letter requesting communication about an offensive, consumer-damaging issue like the one suffered by all tax paying owners involved in College Park.
Well, last Friday I wrote to Mr. Rob Burton, (the Mayor of Oakville) and I started this week off with a polite phone call from one of the Mr. Burton’s senior staff members, a lawyer and pleasantly, a gentleman.
He wasn’t throughly beyond all that usual lawyer crap that lawyers usually throw at you, and which I have grown accustomed to dealing with, but he listened and responded honestly and openly.
He was polite and listened.
He did put up a couple of mild arguments but wasn’t selling any snake oil!
I told him of the circumstance that these unfortunate buyers we being forced to endure and he immediately assured me that he would be one it.
With all 18 houses built and almost completed (one or two still have brick work needed to complete them) thus there really is very little standing in the way to remedying the night mare that these buyers were being forced to endure.
He assured me that at least the roadway would be cleaned right away while he looked into other matters involved in schedule a mutually satisfactory outcome.
And that’s all you can ask for, one that the City replies and hears you and acts on it one way or another and everyone pitches in to resolve the issue at the earliest possible time.
Once these two incomplete (the development is over a year late already) the grading, landscaping, paving and fences can be completed and the temporary telephone polls can be removed (the builder is so unconscious that he actually told me that they were the permanent polls when a chimpanzee could have told you that he was dead wrong!).
I remain absolutely convinced that these buyers, some of whom have been living in this mess and chaos since last February, at all costs should not be forced to endure another winter in this kind of mess.
The main thing is that the City responded and gave me their assurance that “everything that can be done will be done” to complete all the remaining work in an effort to right this wrong.
Not only did they respond professionally and personally, they responded co-operatively and supportively with a sincere interest in making this right by everyone!
This fight doesn’t even involve me at this point as I haven’t closed (only because I knew and quoted Tarion requirements which prescribe “90 Days Notice“.
None of the other buyers appear to have know about Tarion’s rules.
You can’t ask for more than that.
Does this mean all will go smoothly from here so we should all sit back and relax?
I doubt it, but I am more convinced today than I have been in quite some time, that Oakville is the place that I want to live and invest in.
Over the past couple years I’ve blogged about my search for investment opportunities in far away lands like Panama, Belize, Florida, Costa Rica and a whole bunch of other well advertised destinations, only to conclude after thorough due diligence that Oakville really is number one destination for investors like me.
You can buy cheaper elsewhere but when you factor in “risk“, “stability“, and ”
upside potential” I really haven’t been able to find anything even close to Oakville.
And the big bonus comes in the fact that if you are an investor like me to pursues “principal residence investing“, you get to live in one of the greatest cities that I’ve ever been in and I’ve traveled the world!
We’ll wait and see how all this pans out as the City can do only so much.
We are counting on the integrity, support and participation of Fernbrook Homes (the original developer named in the Subdivision Agreement) and the builders (there are at least 3 that we’ve come up with) pulling together, for the first time with the consumer in mind.
I hold no optimism about Sunrise participating as they are simply money grabbing incompetent builders pursuing a “snatch the cash and dash” philosophy.
Stay tuned as all we’ve seen so far is constructive response from the City.
You’ll find all the updates here at simplycharles.com
Municipality of the Town of Oakville