For years (and years) now, after having worked with the developer to design these beautiful townhouses, I’ve paid a little over $6,000/year in property tax.
I understood that my taxes were to insure that we had adequate police protection and that the surrounding city would be maintained in a professional way.
What a unique property it is!
It is situation “IN” College Park so there is none of the usual street traffic at your doorstep. College Park is a longstanding landmark in the city, dating back to the glory days of Eaton’s.
The small shopping concourse today was originally the historic Eaton store of Toronto.
For almost ten years now, the partnership between the City of Toronto (on the park not the condos but then again, all that property tax income and permit fees that run around $10 Million per tower, suggests a lucrative kind of partnership between the two independent entities) and the developer has promoted this $3.5 Million renovation to the park but instead on doing the renovation (the developer actually has to restore the ceiling of the parking below and has perpetuated this myth for a decade now to sell condo units – let’s see what the $3.5 million actually pays for) they’ve continued to kick the can down the road AT THE SOLE EXPENSE OF THE PEOPLE THAT TRUSTED THEM!
For some bazaar and unexplainable reason, the City of Toronto immediately upon receiving it’s multimillion dollar windfall, chose to totally neglect what was always a cherished green space in the the town town core.
It was almost one year to the day following registration of College Park II, the second 50+ storey residential tower at 761 Bay Street, that the City chose to cut off the water to the park which houses our front door!
No explanation was ever given and the promise of a $3.5 Million park renovation, despite having been used to sell thousands of condo units and out 12 luxury town homes has lingered now while the park itself has become an unsafe and disgusting derelict area of the city.
The combination of the Provincial Courts being located in the commercial tower (doesn’t it strike you as somewhat ridiculous to bring derelicts from all sorts of crime to a new high density residential enclave?) and the new government alcohol pusher’s outlet that has attracted disenfranchised and lost souls to sit and drink in the park as soon as the LCBO opens!
So, today everyone that bought into the dream, is left to deal with a loss of value of their real estate investment, not to mention the “quiet enjoyment” of their most sacred of assets, their home.
The park, named after Canada’s gold medal olympian Barbara Ann Scott, used to boast a unique a beautiful water fountain in the summer and a quaint family skating area during Toronto’s harsh winters.
All that was immediately lost to owners, due to the City arbitrarily deciding to strip the owners of the park all together. It remains to this day in disgusting disrepair, while the local Council woman (“Krystin Wong-Tam “) publishes expensive information packages at tax payer expense bragging about “the City’s commitment to its parks“!
Ironically, the City promotes and markets itself under the heading “A City within a Park“.
Well, our City and Park is an eye-sore and an insult to each tax payer that bought into the “Bait and Switch” that has been perpetrated.
The front doors and therefore front lawns of these unique townhouses is actually City property.
An elaborate automatic lawn watering system was installed but then shut off approximately one year to the day after registration (sound devious).
City garbage trucks weekly drive right over my front lawn pounding the walk-way leading to my front door below ground level, dislodging the bricks, and basically destroying any “curb appeal” imaginable.
You can’t find a comparable property to these unique townhouse for under $2,000,000 but these struggle to get $1,500,000 (a direct $500,000 loss being endured by townhouse owners based on actual real estate evidence).
So, as an owner, taxpayer and investor, I am forced to eat a half million dollar loss in the value of my property because the City has arbitrarily chosen to follow a course of action that has included destroying a fully functional park while continuing to collect historic property taxes that carried budgets to maintain the park.
So now, the word is that the decade long promises of a $3.5 million renovation to the park is supposed to start this winter but again, there is absolutely no evidence to support these rumours.
We’ve had numerous daylight RAPES in the park. Police are virtually unseen in the park (I know, my office overlooks it) with only the infrequent tour of a couple cops on bicycles but so infrequently that the drug abuse, alcohol abuse, the park being used as a major toilet, dogs defecating on our front lawns (we were promised fences but the City reneged, even when asked by our board for them at our own expense!).
So, today I’m on my way to the Mayor’s office with a Notice that “I’m mad a hell and not going to take it any more”.
I am intending to sue the City for the $600,000.00 loss in value to my home plus an additional $400,000.00 in “loss of quiet enjoyment”.
I am telling the Mayor that not only am I going forward (I spoke with a litigator last week who was enthusiastic to take the case) with my own law suit, but I am prepared to go to each of my eleven neighbours (townhouse owners) and invite them to join in a “Class Action” law suit that will then swell the damages to upwards of $12,000,000.00.
I am assuring him that all of this can be avoided (the cost alone to defend against this will be substantial) if he will simply sit down with me and discuss this mess.
It is not his fault and it has not taken place under his governance and I am optimistic that he will be as offended as I am, but that remains to be seen.
I’m dropping off my Notice to the Mayor, today and will bring you up to speed as things unfold.
I welcome your comments.