Developers corrupt condo watchdog, Marchese tells Cityplace

Kimberly Spice –


510 Streetcar will be returning soon

Cityplace condo owners and renters attended the Cityplace Residents’ Association Town Hall Meeting Nov. 21 at the Renaissance Hotel to get an update on a number of outstanding issues in the neighbourhood.

About 30 residents heard time lines for items such as the Spadina streetcar, which will be completed from the Spadina subway to Union Station in 2014.

“I know that the 510 Spadina streetcar has been sorely missed in this neighbourhood,” Councillor Adam Vaughan’s representative, Jennifer Chan, told area residents.

Developers rule Tarion board: Marchese

“The construction is well underway and the streetcar is promised to be back by February to go down and loop around to Queens Quay.

Then after that they will be installing the new tracks on the revitalized Queens Quay and it should be back in service to Union Station by July.”

The proposed off-leash dog park in Canoe Park will be presented to area residents prior to final approval for their input. Currently the dog run area will be the north end of the park south side of Fort York Boulevard.

Loblaw’s, at the corner of Bathurst and Lakeshore, made application to restore the current building and to build condo towers on the property. Chan estimates public meetings will begin in January or February 2014.

Mouth of the Creek Park, at Fort York and Bathurst, is entering the detailed design phase with an estimated construction date sometime in 2015 but in the interim plans are to seed the area to promote the growth of grass.

The construction along Queens Quay is on schedule with completion in the spring of 2015. An anticipated vote with regards to Toronto Island airport is estimated to take place in December with regards to expanding the airport. Additional traffic on the neighbourhood remains to be a major concern with a growth estimate of 2.3 million passengers per year to 4.3 million if the plans are approved.

There was no significant update for Block 31, the large plot of vacant land across from Sobeys. Designs are being worked on and public meetings may start early next year.

Trinity-Spadina MPP, Rosario Marchese, informed residents that many people aren’t aware of the mediation arbitration available to condo dwellers through the Condominium Act. He is pushing for a Condominium Tribunal where residents/owners can pursue issues with the developer, property management or boards, to get problems resolved cheaply without the expensive court system.

Marchese seeks a change in the Condo Act  in February or March after an 18-month review. He’s concerned there might be conflicts with some reviers dominated by development groups.

Marchese made particular note during the meeting of Tarion, which was created 37 years ago to provide warranties for development deficiencies ranging from one to two years. Ten of the board members are developers and are the only group not subject to oversight. They can set up their own regulations, all this with consumer’s money.

A bill to be introduced soon in provincial parliament the Tarion group supporting they be reformed and subject to government reviews.

“They are the only one that has the power to set regulations, which is not subject to review and they only have to give the government one week’s notice, which they don’t change, add, subtract or alter in any way, is insane,” stated Marchese. “The majority of people don’t have a clue that that is the kind of entity we are dealing with. They should have inspectors to review the quality of work of construction that is subject to their review but we don’t believe they do any of that.”

An additional issue is The Ontario Municipal Board, a group that Marchese states are unaccountable, unelected, currently has the power to override the decisions of an entire city and who do not have to provide reasons for their decisions, has to be addressed. Bill 20 is in need of support from both the Liberals and Conservatives for it to proceed out of committee and move forward.

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