I’ve been giving frequent updates on the insulting and unacceptable regressive roll out of a pre-construction development consisting of just 18 upper-scale homes (or at least they were “sold” as “upscale“.
As a global real estate investor I came across this multiple listing advertisement for a home in Bronte Village (a quaint historic lakeshore community about 45 minutes drive west of Toronto).
I was looking for a home for my retirement years, having lived in luxury high rise condos until I caught on that for me, those lobbies, elevators simply are not for me.
I gave up on penthouses where I ended up seeing so many unattractive roof tops full of boilers, chillers and the like, figuring that architectural views from mid level floors may offer some solace but those elevators just kept haunting me.
So I turned to townhouses, always in the downtown core to insure me access to everything the city has to offer all year long as Toronto has punishingly (to me) cold and bitter winters (not as bad as Calgary and Edmonton in my opinion but still punishingly cold!
Toronto has the PATH, an extensive integration of downtown office high rise buildings transitioned into a major shopping/entertaining/dining concourse offering a foot network to everything downtown.
Toronto is a regressive city intellectually in many other ways, one of the most significant is roads.
I’ve been in Toronto’s Condoland since 1979 and have never seen a new road and these days all I see is lanes on major roadways being taken away (planters, bike lanes, etc.!
And the remaining lane/lanes are again constricted with pay parking.
It has long been obvious to me that the city has adapted a philosophy of making driving so inconvenient and uncomfortable that people just give up and take public transit.
I see this as a betrayal to tax payers like me who are dependent on our cars to make a living!
I see this as almost as offensive as the manner by which consumers have been allowed to be exploited by builders and developers, which for the past almost two decades I’ve been speaking out against!
After too many years of living in the downtown core in an apartment condo, despite having lived in what were consistently marketed as “the ultimate in luxury”, after almost a dozen buys/investments I had not received anything close to what I was sold on each occasion.
Yes, I could sell them but that wasn’t my strategy.
Real estate is really made from owning it, not selling it.
But every time that my wife and I laid down the millions, we ended up with such a seriously flawed product that we couldn’t even keep them as income properties as the workmanship was simply unacceptably low and the disturbing thing consistently was that there was very little that we could do as consumers!
Now, people will tell you that I’m quite the adversary if I set my sites on you. I don’t do so vindictively, but rather to simply shine a bright light on the builder’s/developer’s conduct.
I just completing writing two significant books, the first “Crisis In Condoland” shows a flagrantly obvious conscious systemic exploitation of the consumer in Condoland and the other a literal Case Study of the real life experiences as a consumer today buying a million dollar plus, home.
The title to the first is quite accurate as there is a definitive crisis sitting on the horizon of Condoland, with respect to the very real potential of “scheduled maintenance budget-breaking line items” that hold the very real potential of bankrupting consumers that own condo units in these glass towers, spilling over onto condo corporations themselves, and potentially banks holding the mortgages on these condo units and ultimately back onto CMHC who hold insurance policies on all those mortgages and we haven’t even touched on the insurance companies! I would say all these agencies lining up to declare bankruptcy (after all we are talking about CMHC or the Government)!
We have an industry literally in crisis, and no-one involved including our government seem absolutely oblivious to it!
There is actually “a schedule“, a time clock for this crisis yet still everyone apparently chooses to ignore it and it is published and right there before their eyes!
I set out a very clear track record of this builder, a local Toronto Condoland small time builder who is reaping in millions and millions of dollars by consciously exploiting consumers through a plethora of lies, misrepresentations and unethical if not illegal deceptions perpetrated against consumers in this collection of 18 luxury homes.
Had my wife and I been your average consumers the house that we would have received from this Pirate (grab the money and run guy) despite being over a year and a half late (and under lies of a “Strike Notice” despite not using Union labour) this house would have proven a disaster!
Fortunately my four decades in the streets of Condoland (I admit to being some kind of savant where my exception from my ADD is condos) didn’t leave me in the unfortunate situation that most consumers end up discovering themselves in.
In can tell you that this builder’s Chief Operating Officer, is one of the worst businessmen that I’ve ever negotiated with (and being an uneducated entrepreneur all my life I’ve negotiated with a lot of sometimes extreme people.
He and his company have also proven to be one of the most unethical and untrustworthy.
I have sworn evidence in the form of an Affidavit by another owner here who settled that matter but apparently has expanded her suit against him for significant damages and this evidence describes a highly unethical and manipulative man and company consciously and intentionally exploiting consumers, yet once again no-one (on the outside) is even offended let alone taking legal action to protect these consumers.
I inherited the task when I started blogging about this guy without mentioning his name and other owners in this collection of homes contacted me.
So I’ve proven that his web site is a cesspool of lies, misleading material and misrepresentation!
And I’ve proven that his brochures are high priced lie sheets carrying photos of kitchens (for example) showing high end appliances whereas his hidden print prescribe “starter level appliances“!
The most meaningful exposure of this man’s and his company’s lack of integrity can be found in “what is not set out in these high priced brochures“, which is “materials used in counter tops”, “types of sinks“, “interior door construction”, “interior door heights” and a list of other things that to the letter this guy omitted on purpose specifically because he was intending to supply “starter grade finishes” in homes that he represented as “luxury grade homes“!
The man has proven to be a “Bait & Switch” Artist (well “artist” may be extreme as he more closely has ended up resembling a “clown” but a thief even in a clown’s appearance can steal your money if the system is right and in Condoland the system is so clearly provably “right”).
I’ve documents how this builder never once gave any forewarning of Delay to its buyers, but no-one (due to “no oversight” and/or “no regulation” – well . . . . . so much for Tarion Warranties)!
And yet today, this builder is still shown as a “Builder in Good Standing” with Tarion!
I’ve shown how this builder has used the Delay excuse of Union Strikes when they didn’t even have union contractors on site (other than union guys “moonlighting” sometimes while there own, non-union workers were all there was)!
I know this because I forcibly took over the site supervisor job midway through the completion of our home due to the only competent and/or qualified guy in the employ walked off the job in disgust with these people“!
The pathological liar that replaced him supplied my wife and I a never ending succession of entertainment much like watching George Castanza on Seinfeld lie his way around his “Long Island residence“!
The willingness to lie, outright lie to customers has proven systemic right down to their office manager (I have always warned everyone that “I will make them famous” (my patiently line when confronted with a lack of ethics) so please don’t think that I am taking unfair advantage of any of these people as they’ve all conducted themselves unethically in the manner with which they are obviously comfortable, throughout my exposure to them, and I only report the fact. In other words they have done what they do in full knowledge that their conduct was being reported on and if they are comfortable with that then I can report on their conduct.
I’ve shown you how “this builder used” (I mean “used” as in “exploited“) a third party company, “Ringer” property management company (I’ve taken down their name as they sent one of these ambulance-chasing litigators after me) that has proven themselves to be as untrustworthy and consumer-exploitive as this builder, a couple years back to get required accounts opened and then “dumped” them once he had the proof that the accounts were in place so he could move forward with the project under law.
Now, I have to tell you that none of this would ever have come to the surface in other sites and developments as this was all shuffled under the rug in an obvious conspiracy between t and it’s “Ringer” property management company (I’ve taken down their name as they sent one of these ambulance chasing litigators after me) that resulted in the “Ringer” having full and exclusive control of the home owners bank accounts, operating budgets and reserve funds!
Stop here for a moment and consider the detrimental illogic of such a ridiculous arrangement! And this arrangement was set up by this builder to the detriment of those who bought from and trusted in him!
The newly formed board of directors (of which I am President) has discovered a great deal of money missing, required corporate records and financing requirements totally ignored for years and a condo corporation that the owners were expected to inherit in desperate condition!
The only way that we came across and exposed this is as a result of my rather savantish intrinsic understand on how Condoland works (or to say it more clearly having dealt with horse thieves for all these years)!
Our Condo Corporation has literally been pillaged by Pirates so where is the consumer protection? We still have no access to our money and a huge gap in our finances and reserves as this company chose to pay itself for two year’s work that it has admittedly not supplied!
This seems abundantly clear to me to be “Conspiracy To Commit Fraud” and possibly “Collusion” and “outright Theft” so be sure to stay tuned as I walk this puppy to the well!
I won’t let go of this and I’m not interested in “Settlement Agreements” that bury the filth that leads consumers to this place!
I mentioned that there is also some hope on the horizon for consumers.
This hope rests with our Minister of Government and Consumer Services, “Ms. Tracy MacCharles” (there’s something about the name “Charles” that I like) whom I quoted yesterday from an obscure Ontario Newspaper the “Windsor Daily Commercial News” saying: “Tarion will effectively be split in half maintaining administration of the warranty program while the government establishes a new regulator . that consumers can be better protected“.
This is what I’ve fought for every day since 2000 when I introduced Buyer Agency to Condoland (previous I was part of the problem for years “selling FOR developers/builders“).
Since having introduced Buyer Agency in an attempt to supply some sort of protection for consumers in 2000 (my wife and I also produced the first real estate electronic sales platform back in 1990 (DOS CD-ROM due to there being no Internet, Windows Operating System or anything else that today seems so common) I have been required to become quite informed/educated (I shutter at the word sometimes) on the Laws of Civil Procedure in Ontario to be able to fend off numerous frivolous law suits by (despite them representing most of the most credible law firms in the country) unethical litigators on builder/developer pay rolls seeking not the true but rather to simply “shut me up“.
Our Minister of Government and Consumer Services has scored big with me in her announcement (I don’t know why this would not be Front Page News on every newspaper – do you?)!
I’m contacting her to propose working with her to put this industry onto solid (integrity) grounds.
I believe that there is a Petition being formed to ask the Minister to add me to the team, an invitation that I will gladly consider if there really is a legitimate chance for meaningful change.
This is the first time in my almost forty year career in Condoland that there has even been the suggestion of implementing some aspect of true consumer protection.