Marina Del Rey Condominium $15 Lawsuits, Toronto

The Toronto Waterfront area can be a beautiful place to live. I thought all my dreams had come true when I moved in to my condominium 23 years ago. It has the most spectacular view of this city! However, I soon discovered that purchasing this property would become my biggest nightmare! I have now been homeless for 13 years!

This is a cautionary tale about what happens to a condo owner at Marina Del Rey Phase I, 2261 Lake Shore Blvd. W, who is forced to commence legal action in an effort to rebuild her home after years of continuous water flooding problems, mismanagement, neglect of duties, and bad faith displayed by insurance companies.

I have started this blog with the hope that I can provide help and encouragement to others who find themselves in a similar situation. Insurance companies and corporations have lots of money and lawyers to fight us. However, we have the power of the internet and the social media to connect, support each other, and exchange helpful information.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Shut this Blog Down! Desire of Condo Board, Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Lawyer, and some Owners

You can choose to believe me or wish to silence me.  I will not give up.

The WORLD is supporting Freedom of Expression after this week's tragic terrorist massacre of journalists and innocent people in France.

Some don't like my cartoon header - using humour to illustrate the situation that I - and some others have faced at Marina Del Rey condominium. Leaking windows, leaking pipes, flooding, mold.

They are afraid you will watch this CBC Doc Zone documentary:  Watch full episode of the Condo Game

You can see what my condo unit looks like today and learn what it is like to be in my shoes.

If you don't have time to watch the documentary, here is the Trailer and I am in it: Trailer - see me!

Read more about the Condo Game Documentary:  Wake Up Call for Condo Owners

Please Explain:  I was just served with a lawsuit!

I am being sued for $25,000! An owner claims he can't sell his unit because of the 3 lawsuits (2 are mine), and this website.

Some Condo Owners, former and current Directors of the Condo Board, a Real Estate Agent, and a Real Estate Lawyer / fellow condo owner don't want you to read my blog.

They want it shut down.

I spoke with the real estate agent who represented a potential buyer - they were concerned about the lawsuits, reports of leaking windows and pipes. Rightly so in my opinion.

Others potential owners were advised not to worry, and they purchased units at our building anyway.

Most condo owners don't care!  They were advised by our insurance lawyer two years ago, then once again by the Board of Directors at our last annual general meeting that it is all being taken care of by the condo corporation's insurance.

It has not stopped many from purchasing units in our building. In fact, sales have been very strong.

Guess what happened January 4, 2015?  Another major plumbing accident on the main floor flooding the hallway across the hall from the unit being sold - the same owner who just served me with the lawsuit!

Another toilet failed and caused a big flood.

It damaged not only the condo, but also people's personal property in storage units one floor below.

Maybe now the owner who is suing me believes me?

It happened to me multiple times and it can happen to any of you too.

In the photo, you can see the baseboards from the common walls removed so they can dry.

Some parts still have drywall to the floor.

But if you look closely at one section of the wall near the unit being sold, the steel studs of the common wall are badly rusted and the drywall is damaged.

This is evidence of a water leak and not just a one time flood.  I looked in the wall and I could see mold!

Still don't want to believe me?

A real estate agent who happens to be my neighbour, turned her back on me when she found out that I started 2 lawsuits.

Guess what?  She had two major floods in her own condo unit - 3 months apart.  She had just finished restoring her unit after the first flood when the next one hit.

Now she is speaking to me again.

She offered to try to help me find a buyer for my wrecked condo unit. My unit has no kitchen, no finished bathroom, badly damaged floors + holes cut in walls and ceilings by the condo corporation.  They have been unable to determine the source of water leaking through electric conduit into my alarm panel area.

The source of the leak is not in my unit but somewhere above me and they still don't know where the water is coming from.

The seller has the duty to disclose the problems like leaking or mould in a condo unit.  I would be scared to buy this unit and it is frightening to live here as well - never quite sure when the next flood will hit.

People are starting to understand that it can happen to anyone.

Yesterday, I spoke with my upstairs neighbour where a number of leaks originated and caused damage to my unit.  He agreed with me that it is a good idea to shut off all the water in a condo unit prior to going away for a weekend or on a vacation.  The January 2015 main floor flood happened while the owner was away.

A week after the main floor flood, we received a notice in our door warning owners that our building is aging (it was built in 1988) and as a result, original plumbing and fixtures are failing.  It is an owner's responsibility to have the plumbing and fixtures inspected and replaced if necessary by a plumber.

The owner from where the flood originated is responsible for repairs to their unit and all other units affected including the common elements.

There may still be a number of original Crane toilets in our building.  Defective Crane toilets which spontaneously crack were manufactured from 1980 to 1991.  Read about the Defective Crane Toilets
In 2009, the Condo Corporation posted a notice about the problems with the toilets installed by the builder. After a class action lawsuit, Crane was willing to exchange the toilets.  Not everyone in our building did this.

I just seems like many don't read the notices or bother to attend meetings - then complain that there are problems here.

Some of us just can't figure out why it was more important to renovate our beautiful lobby instead of replacing the old water pipes (scheduled for 2018) or replacing defective leaking windows (scheduled to begin in 2025.)

Many owners wonder why nearly our entire reserve fund was spent on redecorating?  We liked the building the way it was!  Traditional decor, warm wood paneling and marble floors.  

Many don't like the new redecorating scheme or the new lobby which to me looks like an office building. Cold and white, hard surfaces. Check out the wild carpets and the black wallpaper:

NOTE:  This blog is not censored. This is my opinon and my experiences.  

Other people love Marina Del Rey and think it is a great place to live and offers "resort style living" and is well managed and the Board is excellent. 

Feel free to post whatever comments you like under the posts and they will not be deleted.

If you read the comments below the posts you will see that some people support and agree with me.  

Others say I am crazy, I am going to lose the lawsuits, and it did not affect their decision to purchase a unit at my building.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

THE CONDO GAME - Documentary about The Problems Condo Owners Face

I am in this Documentary! Check it out - My nightmare at Marina Del Rey. You can see what my condo looks like inside today. Unfortunately Nothing has changed. My ventilation system was broken for over a year and water is now dripping from my electrical conduit at my front door where the alarm panel once was.

See The Condo Game - Documentary on CBC

Premiering Thursday, November 21 @ 9 pm (9:30 pm NT) on CBC Television’s Doc Zone Average Canadians looking for a place to call home are joining a game – and they don’t have the rule book.

The Condo Game examines the forces at play behind the fastest moving condo market in North America – Toronto – to discover that the glittering glass hides a sea of troubles.

One expert says it’s really not primarily a housing market at all, but rather a commodities play: prospective condo-owners fight for square footage, and square deals, in a market focused on investor profit.

The stark difference between what’s on the dreamy brochure and the reality when the unit’s finally finished is only the beginning… The Condo Game looks at the lessons learned from Vancouver’s leaky condo crisis and explores how Toronto could benefit from tougher regulations.

Warning bells will be ringing loud and clear across the country as Canadians and communities take note of this cautionary tale.

THE CONDO GAME will also air on CBC News Network, Saturday, November 23 at 11 pm ET and Sunday, November 24 at 6 pm ET. Join the conversation with The Condo Game @bountifulfilms The Condo Game More information on the documentary can be found at: CBC Doc Zone - The Condo Game

Monday, 27 May 2013

June 4-5, 2013 Attention Concerned Condo Owners, your Input is Needed!

Consultation with Condominium Residents - City of Toronto

Etobicoke - Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Location: All Saints Kingsway  Anglican Church

2850 Bloor St. W
(At Prince Edward Dr and Bloor St. W)
Toronto - Wednesday, June 5, 2013T
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Location: Metro Hall, 55 John St (At King St W. and John St)
The City of Toronto is holding another round of public meetings with condominium occupants.The first round of meetings identified issues that condo residents are experiencing. This second round will be about testing ideas to address the issues.

This consultation meeting will include:
  • An overview presentation from the project team to share draft ideas to respond to issues raised during Phase One of the consultation (conducted in February/March 2013)
  • Facilitated discussion to seek feedback on the draft ideas (e.g. which draft ideas will work well, which may need refinements, any gaps, etc.).
A second survey to receive more detailed feedback on the draft ideas will be launched in June 2013.
For more information on the City's Consultation with Condominium Occupants,
Please visit the project website.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Are today's Toronto Condo Towers tomorrow's Slums?

What does a 75-storey flophouse look like? According to some, we won’t have to wait long to find out.  Read what architecture critic Christopher Hume thinks, Toronto Star:

This Rexdale Condo is in Big Trouble!:

"York Condominium Corporation 506, located near Finch and Kipling Aves., is in crisis. The 202-unit condo building needs millions of dollars in urgent repairs — but at the same time, it has an operating deficit of $670,000, a depleted reserve fund and a community that can’t agree on a fix."

These condos in Scarborough are an Out of Control Disaster!:

Excerpt from their website: 
"This website has been created by the residents for the residents of these two buildings.  For decades, these residents have suffered various forms of injustice, crime, and unanswered pleas from the management and from civil servants.  Conditions have deteriorated and have now reached an apex that we will not be tolerated any longer in our community.  Enough is enough.  There are far too many problems in this community and we DEMAND action right away.  We will not take these assaults any longer.  We, the residents, need to mobilize, stand together, and expose what is going on around here.  We can only make a difference if we stand together.  Our goal is to capture peoples' attention:  the media, lawyers, MPs, the mayor, MPPs, government offices, and of course average Torontonians,  The more people that become aware and involved in our cause, the better for us.  Rest assured, we will not stop until changes are made.  Let's make this community livable again!
Here's a list of what's wrong in the buildings among many others:

 -  The board of directors has deliberately gotten rid of an on-site manager so that they can manage the building affairs on their own.  This has been the case for three years now and since then, the conditions have deteriorated further.  This board is extremely ineffective, and mismanages everything. 
The first thing that needs to be done through the intervention of the authorities is a full investigation followed by a complete replacement of the board of directors.  Most importantly, WE NEED A HIRED, PROFESSIONAL, RESPONSIBLE MANAGER ON THE SITE A.S.A.P.  If this does not happen then nothing beyond this point will ever change. 
-  There are brothels disguised as "massage parlours" within the suites.  They have been reported to the management office several times but those there don't even want to hear anything about it. 
-  It is questionable as to how the maintenance funds are being spent and where and to whom the funds are being allocated.
-  Aggressive prostitutes have come close to attacking residents.
-  Apartments are made into rooming houses.  They are separated into further apartments and dwellings within the suites.
- There have been marijuana grow operations in the apartments.
- The condition in the garages are not only apalling, but also pose a safety risk. 
-  There are a variety of illegal businesses within the apartments.
-  There have been robberies and attacks in the buildings.
-  There are clothes (shirts, pants, underwear) hung in the windows in place of curtains.
-  The balconies are unpainted and rusting, posing a risk to tenants.
-  There are no clearly posted regulations pertaining to noise production.
-  Noise is produced at all times, mornings, nights, and holidays without any regard for others.  This noise is mainly due to home renovations and illegal ensuite businesses.  Noise is produced by a variety of musical instruments at full volume, ranging from trumpets, violins, pianos, and basses, disrupting other residents' right to silence in their own units.  
-  The garage door keeps breaking, and when it does, it goes unrepaired for days, weeks even, and yet the management sends letters of concern regarding robberies and attacks.  This grants strangers access into the building, putting residents at risk.
-   Although the buildings have a bicycle room in the basement, residents leave their bicycles unappealingly locked onto the fence by the garage to Building B - right in front of the management office!
-  The conditions in the stairwell are apalling with paint stripped and holes in the walls.
-  Garbage is being thrown out at all times.  There used to be a regulation that garbage disposal (in the chutes) should cease by 10:00pm.  These regulations have been ripped off at the expense of the suites next to the chutes, producng noise in the middle of the night.
-  The garbage chutes remain fillthy, and are rarely sanitized.  To add to the problem, many residents do not push their garbage down, leaving it stuffed into the chute with the lid open. 
-  People keep barbeques on balconies even though it is restricted by the Owners' Agreement.  Many of them are clearly visible on the first few stories, so the management should be able to see them, yet nothing is being done. 
-  Discrimination occurs from the management and from the residents of the Chinese majority against the minorities.  There used to be free newspapers distributed in English and Chinese.  Now there are only Chinese newspapers being distributed.
-  There are regulations as to when moves can occur, but they are disregarded and little is being to to enforce these rules. 
-  Rules and regulations are being ignored by many residents and are not adequately enforced by the management office.
-  Reports addressing problems to the office in Building B often go unanswered.  People have been threatened with the police simply for reporting unresolved issues. 
-  Etc... Etc... More will be added!"

Three $20 Million Toronto Condo Lawsuits, Lessons from BC leaking Condos, & Marchese's Bill 72

To learn more about the Problems with Toronto's Condos and lawsuits Please see this Link for news reports from Toronto Life, CBC, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail:


In 1986, there were only 146 condos in Toronto.  Today, within the boundaries of the old city alone, there are 520 completed condos that average 159 units each.

"Every condo building in Toronto has a secret. The only thing that separates crappy balconies from crappy soundproofing, plumbing, drainage, elevators, heating, air conditioning and mechanical equipment is that anybody can see the balconies falling apart. The rest is hidden from public view, as are the boardroom confrontations and the quietly launched civil lawsuits that follow, when condo owners with no other recourse take their developers to court. In March, a group of unit owners at the Festival and Murano towers filed class action lawsuits against their respective developers and architects, and the balcony installer at both locations, Toro Aluminum Railings. Even though the developers are replacing the glass at their own expense, the lawsuits claim that residents have been denied access to a significant portion of their living space for too long, through no fault of their own. They believe someone is negligent, and someone should pay. Each suit claims a total of $20 million in damages."

Class Action Lawsuit $20 million:  Festival Tower

Class Action Lawsuit $20 million:  Optima

Class Action Lawsuit $20 million:  Murano

"Such lawsuits are increasingly common, with damage claims for shoddy construction running from the tens of thousands to the tens of millions, naming developers, architects, concrete-waterproofing subcontractors and everyone in between. As the repair bills and legal fees mount, the courts try to figure out who will pay for the fixes. Meanwhile, with hundreds of cranes poking out of the city skyline and developers scrambling to build still more towers, we’re presented with the real possibility that many more of these condo boom buildings will bust."

"Finding a way to detect problems early could help head off a situation similar to the condo crisis in Vancouver and Victoria, which suffered an epidemic of leaky buildings constructed in the late 1980s and 1990s—some 65,000 units in all. British Columbia created a commission of inquiry headed by former premier Dave Barrett, and its report, issued in 1998, was scathing. It blamed municipalities for failing to monitor building quality, the province for allowing loose interpretations of the building code, architects and engineers for failing to ensure their designs were properly translated, contractors for passing the buck, unskilled labour for poor workmanship and developers for failing to disclose all information to newly formed condo boards."

"Earlier this year, Rosario Marchese introduced a private member’s Bill 72at Queen’s Park to amend the Condominium Act, the legislation that lays the groundwork for buying, selling and living in condominium dwellings (including everything from who is allowed to vote at condo corporation meetings to how a condo decides whether to ban pets) and which hasn’t been updated since 1998. Marchese’s bill would also update the Ontario building code’s soundproofing standards. It will be the fourth time he has tried to amend the act; each previous attempt has been stymied by the Liberal government.
Marchese’s bill would create a condo review board not unlike the current landlord and tenant board, to act as a dispute resolution body for conflicts between condo boards, owners, property managers and developers."

Toronto condo building lawsuits are complex with multiple parties pointing a finger at each other.  Could a Condo Review Board be able to sort out complex legal issues?

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Would You Just Walk Away?

Dear Marina Del Rey Condo Owners:

Some have suggested that a fair offer would be to pay me the value of my condo and I should then just walk away.

Walking away from my condo which I have owned for 23 years with a payment for its value is not good enough.  My condo is worthless.  Wrecked,  full of mould, water penetrates around window when it rains. Who would want to buy it?  Payment for the cost of my condo will pay off my mortgage and partially pay for my legal fees.  No Deal.

Do you realise that both the lawsuits were triggered by the fact that Marina Del Rey was in between condo managers and there was no one to take charge and deal with the flooding situations in my home.  After writing countless letters, emails, and filling out maintenance requests to no avail, I was forced to commence legal action to repair my home.  I also slipped on my flooded condo floor caused by defective windows (identified in 1997 and confirmed in 2003) after a rainstorm and broke my arm, injured both shoulders, and collar bone.  I am a landscaper who specialises in fish ponds.  I was unable to work.  When I fell behind in maintenance fee payments, I was threatened with liens. 

I was given the following excuses:  It's in the lawyer's hands, we are going to discuss it at the next meeting, our hands are tied - it's up to the Board.  I was also told, it happened before I started working (or was elected) and I don't know anything about it, sorry.  Another time I was told our hands are tied, but if you drop the lawsuit, maybe we can help you.  The file of evidence proving mismanagement, negligence, and failure to act is so big, no one has the time or wants to sit down and read it.

Did you know that for 75 days in 2001 I had no water supply to my unit?  To flush my toilet or wash, I had to go to the parking garage to get a bucket of water.  Did you know that for 21 months my walls and ceilings were left open after the condo plumbers flooded my unit?  I suffered from 2nd hand smoke, mould, insects came into my unit through the walls. I could hear all the neighbours sounds around me including going to the bathroom, dropping a penny or quarter, spoon or knife on the floor, drawers opening and closing, people talking, music, tv, piano.  I was kept awake by the sound of rushing water through the pipes, my pipes rattle and clang when the water is shut off above me. I still wake up at night to the sound of water travelling through the pipes and I am jolted awake fearing the next flood.  Did you know that because the walls and ceilings were left open, during a rainstorm a kind of wind tunnel / vacuum effect sucked in even more water and flooded my living room.  The smell of the wet floor, drywall and mould was horrendous - read visitors comments in 2011.  I believe my windows and frames would never have been replaced by the condo corporation or the holes closed in my drywall had it not been for the City of Toronto building standards department stepping in to help me.

What do I want?

1) I want to make sure this never happens to another person at Marina Del Rey or any other condo for that matter.

2) I want the condo corporation to take flooding and mould issues seriously.  They should be replacing failing pipes and defective windows, not spending our reserve fund on redecorating. 

3) I want owners at Marina Del Rey to understand these lawsuits are a serious matter and can cost the corporation more than just the deductible.  Compensatory and Punitive Damages are not covered by the condo corporation's insurance policy as noted in the financial statements presented at the last general meeting. 
Did you know that the condo corporation is about to be served yet another lawsuit from a resident who was hurt in the parking garage?  Too many lawsuits can cause the condo corporation to lose its insurance.  Lawsuits also bring attention to the fact that there are problems here - which is not good for our building's reputation or property values.

4) I need the mould that is growing in my walls to be remediated.  There is water damage around my windows = mould continues to be active.  The Doctor and the people at the hospital told me to continue to wear a face mask while in my condo.  My neighbour is worried about the mould in our common walls too.  It is affecting my ability to breath and I just went for a 4th lung function test.  It was confirmed that the air quality in my condo is affecting my breathing.

5) I need my ventilation system repaired.  The motor broke and the corporation refuses to replace it even though the Declaration, P. 17 and 18 says its the corporation's responsibility.  The exhaust fan motor is listed as part of the standard unit in By-Law 6

6) I want the condo corporation's insurer to pay to rebuild my home.  I have no kitchen or finished bathroom.  I need it gutted and rebuilt.

7) I want the condo corporation's insurer to provide me personal insurance coverage for the next 5 years or for 5 years after my next flood.  That is how long it takes to clear your record.  You must be incident free for 5 years.

8) I want reimbursement for all my costs.  Legal fees. Maintenance fees & mortgage payments I had to make on a condo that was classified as "unusable space" by MPAC and I received a property tax refund.  Money I spent to rebuild my home only to have it destroyed by another flood.

9) I want to be compensated for my loss of income due to health problems, psychological trauma, broken arm and injured shoulders.  The damage to my business must be recognised.  I would have made a lot more money operating my business with out all the stress and distraction of continuous destruction of my home.  At one point in my business I had up to 10 employees / subcontractors working for me constructing water feature projects for:  zoo, casino, hotels, restaurants, condominiums, retail stores, and high end residential projects.  The work I did was featured in magazines, newspapers, TV shows.  I lost all of that and now am just self employed.  For many years I slept on my office floor because my condo was wrecked and then gutted.

10) I want a public apology.  The way I have been treated by some people at Marina Del Rey is inhumane.  I have been a resident at Marina Del Rey for 23 years.  My problems were ignored for 13 years.  I did not deserve to be bullied, ridiculed, called a liar, nut job, wacko, etc.

My problems were legitimate, deserved attention, and required immediate action.
No one should ever have to go through everything I have been through. I have been homeless for 13 years.

If this happened to you, would you just walk away?

Thursday, 18 April 2013

PROTEST: We should be replacing Leaking Pipes, not Redecorating!

All concerned residents and owners at Marina Del Rey, I urge you to write to the Board of Directors, send an email, and join me on April 24th to protest! 

I know I am not the only one living at Marina Del Rey Condominium who is concerned.  Many friends have told me they share my concerns, including a former Board member.

We should not be spending nearly our entire reserve fund on cosmetic work in our building.  Redecorating instead of replacing substandard plumbing and poorly designed windows is NUTS!

There is approximately $2 million in our reserve fund and the original bids for redecorating came in at $2.7 - $2.9 million.  A Board Member talked about a special assessment so that we could afford this work!  WHAT?  This is crazy, a special assessment to pay for work that is not essential?

The Board reduced the scope of the redecoration work, so the new estimate is $1.8 million dollars to transform our warm, inviting lobby, clean hallways and perfectly good condo suite doors into something very cold and modern looking.

The necessary water riser replacement project is not scheduled until year 2018.  Shouldn't we be doing this messy work now?  It involves cutting open walls and ceilings in common areas, peeling off wallpaper, lots of drywall work and dust.

Maybe you have been lucky and never had a flood and don't believe we have a plumbing, building envelope and window problems. Those of you who are supporting redecorating, are you doing this to try to increase the value of our building?  Are you planning a quick sell of your unit before we are hit with special assessments to pay for necessary repairs to our building?   Don't you realize that failing to make necessary repairs lowers the value of the building and all that beautiful cosmetic work will get wrecked by floods.  You can't fool others by putting icing on a crumbling old cake.  No one is going to want to take a bite.

Look what just happened in the North Tower:  "Due to natural aging, the domestic hot water supply pipe has had two pin holes recently, which resulted in unforeseen water escape and substantial water damage to the building and individual suites."  So, we are in the process of replacing one hot water riser from main floor to top.  Shouldn't we be doing this to all the hot and cold water risers, and pipes throughout the building?  How about all the Shut off valves that are prone to failure too?  I have had 3 floods in my unit due to failed shut off valves.

This is what my unit looked like after the 2009 flood.  My kitchen cabinets destroyed, all my personal belongings that I had emptied out of my closets for the pipe replacement in my unit were wrecked.  I was told to keep 5 large air circulation fans on all Thanksgiving weekend to dry out my place.  According to mould remediation experts, this only served to blow around the mould spores throughout my condo which were present in my open walls and ceilings.
No one bothered to call me at work to tell me there had been a disaster in my condo and that I better come home quick.  No one explained what happened in my unit or why it got flooded.  I came home and found this mess.  I wrote countless emails, letters, and maintenance requests for assistance.  I was told by a Board Member that they could only help me if I dropped the 2001 lawsuit.

After a year of no answers, I started a second lawsuit and served it on the Board of Directors and Managment on the day of the Annual General Meeting 2010.  At the meeting, when the President asked if there is any new business, I stood up to talk about my second lawsuit, all the problems I have encountered, and offered a copy to those attending the meeting.  A few took a copy. 

Can you believe, the fact that the condo corporation had been served a second lawsuit was not even mentioned in the minutes of the annual general meeting! 

I guess no one cares, legal fees are covered by the condo corporation's insurance policy.  "It's in the lawyers' hands."  We only have to pay the deductible.

Well, this can happen to your unit:

Gutted to bare concrete, all drywall, flooring removed, mould remediated.

You could end up losing your insurance because the insurance companies consider your place to be high risk.

You could wind up being HOMELESS!

MPAC can inspect your unit and classify it as "unusable space."  The plus side that you will get a rebate of your property taxes.  

Hopefully you will find someplace live while you struggle to make ends meet and get enough funds together to rebuild your home.

As you attempt to rebuild your condo with your own funds and no insurance coverage, I hope you are not hit with more floods and have your condo wrecked again.

Or slip on the flooded floor and break your arm due to defective windows that leak when it rains!

This is what happened to me.  I hope it does not happen to you.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Unbelievable, Directors want to Spend Reserve Fund on Redecorating!

Marina Del Rey condo owners, you could lose your insurance coverage too!  I urge you to come forward and speak up, write a letter or send an email to the Board of Directors.  It is not too late, we can still make a difference, let's stick together.  This blog is not just about informing, it is also about making change. 

I really fear getting flooded again, I still have a mould problem in my walls (my neighbour is concerned too), my ventilation system is not working resulting in poor air quality and impaired lung function.  I have experienced 8 plumbing related floods since June 2000 and continuously leaking windows.  Although my windows and frames were replace under Order by the City of Toronto in 2012,  I still see signs of water damage on the drywall and window sill because building envelope problems have not been solved.  There are other leaking windows around me and water penetrates the walls and floods the units below. 

I have repeatedly attempted to rebuild my condo only to have it destroyed again.  My insurance company would no longer provide me coverage due to "high risk" of another flood.  When I tried to get insurance elsewhere, one of the first things they asked was have I had any claims, flooding or fire incidents over the past 5 years?  Yes, continuously. My unit remains destroyed with no kitchen or finished bathroom.  Which means, no insurance company would want to offer me coverage.  Some brokers I called were well aware of condo problems and when they looked up my name and address from some data base, they said they could not provide me coverage..

A special meeting was held on April 8, 2013 to discuss the Lawsuits against the building, Redecorating Plans, and Leaking Pipes.  I thought finally I was going to be vindicated!  Maybe even get an apology...

Instead, I found out that the condo corporation doesn't have to worry about the huge legal fees that will result when this matter goes to trial, its all covered by insurance! 

Mismanagement, neglect of duties, failure to act... its all covered by insurance.  No one is held accountable.  Board Members are volunteers.   When I ask questions, I am told it is in the lawyers' hands or we will discuss it at the next Board meeting.  I never get answers.  Management does have training and knows what is right from wrong.  However, I have often been told that their hands are tied, they can only do what the Board tells them to do.
So instead of fixing the defective windows which leak when it rains, or replacing all the remaining old risers and plumbing pipes, the Board of Directors announced plans to go ahead, spend almost our entire reserve fund on redecorating the common areas of our building!  Where are their priorities?  I know some of the Directors have had floods in their units and another has experienced problems with leaking windows.  

I am not the only person who is concerned about plans to redecorate. At the last annual general meeting, a former Director was concerned about the budget and why redecorating was being done at this time when there are other building issues that need our attention.  An owner on a lower floor was concerned about floods and when will all the risers be completely replaced.  The President replied, not until 2018, that is when it is scheduled according to the reserve plan study.  The former President then pointed out that over $60,000 a year was being spent on drywall and paint repairs as a consequence of flooding.  What does this translate into personal insurance claims?  When they replace the risers in 2018, aren't they going to make a complete mess of the common areas, rip open the ceilings and drywall such as in the photo above taken during the 2009 plumbing project.  Is the Board ordering extra wall paper to replace the stuff that is going to be ripped down in 2018?  Shouldn't we be doing this messy construction work first, stopping the floods, then redecorating?

Some people suggest, why don't you just move out?  Others say fight for what you think is right, we support you, we agree with you.  Why should I move out?  This has been my home since 1991.  Why doesn't the corporation fix the leaking problems.  Why doesn't the condo's insurer help me to rebuild my home?  I have an amazing view and I would love to continue living here if possible.

So Members of the Board, do we really need our lobby redecorated?  I think it looks great as is, warm, bright, inviting.

Why are you trying to transform the look of our building into something like this?  And is it really necessary? 

My condo unit door is fine, and looks nice.  Why are you changing all the doors to dark brown?

What is with the grey and white modern colour scheme.  It suits one of those modern glass condo towers downtown, not our building.  If you really want to live in a building like this, why not move downtown or to one of the new glass tower condos being built along the Lake.

But then I hear they have their share of water penetration and plumbing problems too!  Check out this website:  City Place: What went wrong?

Lots more stories of condo nightmares at City Place, Grand Harbour, and other Toronto Condo buildings.

Board of Directors, shouldn't we be replacing the all the remaining hot and cold risers, and shut off valves in our building?  A unit two doors away from me had a flood in October as a consequence of a failed shut off valve and then another flood in December 2012. A unit  above me had a flood in the laundry area due to another pin hole leak = failed water pipe.    Do you want more residents to go through this experience? 
Residents should not have to put up with mould in our walls, flooring, or leaking windows!

Having your condo unit hit by a flood from a failed pipe or water valve is devastating.  Your life is turned upside down dealing with insurance companies, finding a place to live for your family and pet while they rebuild your home.  The time spent picking out new decor, furniture, clothes, and personal belongings may seem like fun to some - but trust me, when it happens all at once and you are not prepared for it, it is devastating.  It is a distraction from work, social relationships, and family.  It is stressful and can be depressing.

Going through the court process of fighting an insurance company is no fun and games either.  They will drag things out, try to make it look like it is all your own fault, try to wear you down.  But don't give up!  We need to fight back.  Set a new precedent. Eventually I hope they learn a lesson and this never happens to anyone else ever again!  This has been such a terrible nightmare and I just want it all to end and to get my home and my life back.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013


Please check this out!  I am not the only one. 

The Condo Madness website lists all the websites of condo owners experiencing problems:
Marina Del Rey Phase II is on the list!

City Place: What went wrong?

Condo Nazis:We'll spend the money and fix up the place and when the money's all gone we'll resign and sell our homes.

Book Reviews!
Documentaries too!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Marina Del Rey Condo Ordered By City of Toronto to hire Engineer & Change Windows!

Folder #: 11 295819 PRS 00 IV

Metro Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 864
2261 Lakeshore Blvd.,
Etobicoke, Ontario M8V 3X1.

Issued pursuant to section 15.2(2) of
The Building Code Act, S.O. 1992, chapter 23, as amended.

October 20, 2011

Re:      2261 LAKE SHORE BLVD W 
            Legal Description: METRO TORONTO CONDO PLAN 864 LEVEL A UNIT 161 PKG
            Roll Number: 1919054013304010000
            City of Toronto

The above-described property, which is owned by you or in which you have an interest has been inspected by a Property Standards Officer.

The inspection revealed that in some respects the property does not conform with the standards prescribed by the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 629, Property Standards.
IT IS ORDERED THAT the repairs necessary to correct the defects set out in Schedule 'A' be carried out and the property brought to a condition of compliance with the prescribed standards on or before November 10, 2011.

Contacting the Investigating Officer
If you wish to speak to the officer directly you may do so in accordance with the contact information provided at the top of this document.  The best time to contact the officer is between 8:30 AM and 9:30 AM.

However, if you cannot call between these hours or have difficulty reaching the officer for any reason you may contact our Customer Response Centre at (416) 392-8700, Monday to Friday between the hours of 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

Appeal Procedure
YOU ARE ADVISED THAT if you are not satisfied with the terms or conditions of this Order you may appeal to the Property Standards Committee by sending a Notice of Appeal by registered mail to:

Property Standards Committee, Etobicoke York Panel, City Clerk's Office
Etobicoke Civic Centre
399 The West Mall
Toronto, ON  M9C 2Y2

on or before November 8, 2011, stating your grounds for appeal. A $250 fee is required (make certified cheque or money order payable to Treasurer, City of Toronto).

In the event that no appeal is taken, within the above prescribed period, the Order shall be deemed to be confirmed and shall be final and binding upon you, requiring you to comply with its Terms within the time and in the manner specified in the Order.

YOU ARE FURTHER ADVISED THAT all correspondence received and collected by the City of Toronto relating to an appeal is maintained for the purpose of creating a record that is available to the general public under section 27 of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

WHERE IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED THAT, the necessary repairs or demolition have not been completed in accordance with this Order as confirmed or modified, in addition to any possible court action may be registered as a lien on the land and shall be deemed to be municipal real property taxes and may be added by the clerk of the municipality to the collectors roll and collected in the same manner and with the same priorities as municipal real property taxes.

IF AFTER REVIEWING THE CONTENT OF THIS ORDER, you are unclear as to the implications or requirements imposed on you as the property owner, you may contact the undersigned or the Customer Response Centre for clarification.

 Alistair Thomas
 Property Standards Officer

October 20, 2011

Re:      2261 LAKE SHORE BLVD W 
            Legal Description: METRO TORONTO CONDO PLAN 864 LEVEL A UNIT 161 PKG
            Roll Number: 1919054013304010000
            City of Toronto

The item(s) listed herein are in violation of the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 629, Property Standards.

Unit #916  East Side
Exterior window not maintained weather-tight.
Unit #916 East Side
Exterior window or skylight not maintained in good repair.

The above repairs to be completed based on Engineers Report Dated Sept 6 2011

Attempts can be made to improve the performance of the operable windows, at Suites
916 and SPH-4 (Master Bedroom) by a combination of maintenance repairs, including
but not limited to:
Replace glazing tape at single-glazed sashes
Replace weatherstripping
Alter sizes and spacing of drain holes
Re-seal joints in the track
Because the risk of leakage would likely not decrease significantly by these adjustments,
and because of the engineering costs to test and measure the improvements, we do not
recommend altering the existing windows. We recommend replacing the glass and
frames at the three window openings shown in Photo 3. New aluminum-framed windows
should be rated as follows:
Water Leakage Resistance: B4 or greater
Air Leakage Resistance at Fixed Windows: A2 or greater
Wind Load Resistance: C4 or greater
Following the window replacements at the three locations, performances should be
monitored during and immediately after severe wind driven rains, to confirm that no
leakage occurs through the window assemblies.

Additional requirement

Once the repairs/replacement is complete the Engineer who wrote the report is to attend and re-inspect the Window(s) in Unit #916 to confirm that work done is in accordance with recommendation based on his report.

**This Order has been issued since a reasonable time has passed since the Engineers Report dated Sept 6 2011. No work has been done nor has there been any communication with the City of Toronto to state when work is to be completed or if there will be any delays…
Additional Information You Need to Know About this Order

Method of Repair
All repairs and maintenance of property required by the standards prescribed by the Code shall be carried out in a manner accepted as good workmanship in the trades concerned and with materials suitable and sufficient for the purpose.  No person shall use, occupy, permit the use or occupancy of, rent, or offer to rent, any property that does not conform with the standards prescribed in this chapter.

Inspection Fees
Be advised that, in accordance with the Municipal Code Chapter 441 - Fees and Charges, Appendix C - Schedule 12, if compliance to this Order is not achieved as specified inspection fees will be charged for each inspection at a minimum rate of $94.00 for the first hour and $55.00 per hour (or part thereof) thereafter.  Chargeable inspections will be invoiced every 30 days.

Required Permits
Where a permit is required to undertake any repair required to conform with the standards as prescribed in this Order, it is the responsibility of the Owner to obtain any such permit.  Please contact your local Toronto Building Services office by calling 311.  In addition, information related to the requirements for a permit can also be found at

Hiring Building Contractors/Trades People
As well, in those cases where building contractors or trades people are hired to conduct work at your property, be advised that building renovators and certain tradespersons require a City of Toronto business license to perform work within the City.  Please ensure that any contractor you may hire has the required license(s).  For further information you can contact: Municipal Licensing and Standards, Licensing Services, East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Avenue, Third Floor, Toronto, ON M4C 5R1 (Licensing Services Call Centre: (416) 392-6700 or