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, 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


  1. Thanks for sharing those key factors to take into consideration when going to view a new condominium. You really gave valuable information here.

    Toronto Condominiums

  2. I met Christina at the MDR ground floor elevator lobby two days after we moved in back in 2011. We had never met each other but she immediately launched into a phenomenal tirade about this wonderful place. Because of research by us and our lawyer prior to closing the deal a couple of months prior, I immediately figured out who she was, interrupted her politely and said, "I just moved in and know all about your claims. While I am sure that you have absolutely NO friends here at all I would still like to give you the oppourtunity to start this conversation over again but on a more positive note". With that I reached out my hand to shake hers, introduced myself again and she fired right up into the rhetoric about this terrible terrible place. After doing some more research, and then witnessing her embarrassingly bizarre behaviour at our Annual General Meeting I have no choice but to conclude that our neighbour is seriously in need of clinical help rather than a new window or two. Her own insurance company dumped her not because of the veracity of the claim(s) but because they likely realized she was never going to settle the claim. Ever. This claim is her life and her world revolves around it. My wife and I have owned various homes over the years, from custom-built detached homes to condos and much in between. Marina Del Rey is the only place we have ever lived where we truly feel like we never want to leave. We have even cut back on vacations because this area and the amenities here are so resort-like that there is no sense going away. The maintenance is top-notch and the financial discipline admirable. The original build quality here after 21 years outstrips new buildings nearby,with any and all repairs/improvements addressed with surprising speed. I don't know if Christina is looking for money or vindication or both but the sad truth is that she could easily have had both of those years ago but chose to carry on her senseless tirades and affect the values of every single residence here at Marina Del Rey including her own. I cannot imagine anybody wanting to do business with her in any capacity, having experienced her personally. This comment will undoubtedly be taken down but felt that something had to be said. Anybody reading this blog should do their own research about Marina Del Rey. We did. And we couldn't be happier living here...except for the occasional lunatic.

    1. Christina Sobolak9 April 2013 at 17:32

      Bully, thanks for posting on my blog and you are invited to post all you like, I will not delete your comments. You said some extremely mean things to me in front of an audience of condo owners at the last annual general meeting. Many in the audience do feel sorry for me and have seen me struggle with 13 years of flooding and repeated destruction of my home + slipping and breaking my arm on my flooded living room floor after a rain storm! Bully, why did you gang up against me with the Board of Directors when I said that we should not be spending the entire reserve fund on redecorating? We should be replacing more leaking pipes and defective windows! The Board told me to SHUT UP! There is nothing wrong with our building! Bully, you sat in front of me and turned around to tell me that you HATE ME, I was not welcome around here + a lot of other nasty things! You almost made me cry. A lady came up to me after the meeting and said I was so brave! She said she could not believe I was able to retain my composure after that attack! She also told me not to give up and keep fighting and do what you think is right. Not everyone agrees with the way the Board wants to spend our money. Many people have been hit with a flood or have leaking windows. We should be fixing things that are failing, not spending all our money to make our condo building prettier. That's just putting ICING ON A CRUMBLING OLD CAKE!!! Who is going to want to take a bite? Bully, please read my blog before you post further. We should be learning a lesson from the leaking condo saga out in British Columbia. HOW WOULD YOU FEEL if you had to go through everything I was forced to endure and the extraordinary efforts I have made to stop the leaking in my home. I think you need to do some more research and show more compassion.

    2. Read my next blog post Alan. You have not lived at Marina Del Rey long enough to know the truth about what has gone on here for the past 23 years like me. Mr. Gerald Hyman, the condo corporaton's lawyer, writes an column for the Toronto Star about condo legal problems and I feel empathy for those who write in and ask questions. It seems like I have experienced almost every problem imaginable. Please see comments from others in posts below who have lived at Phase II and Phase III. They have leaking windows and they are upset with the amount of money spent on redecoration of Phase II instead of dealing with urgent building issues. I am not the only one.

    3. Alan,

      You have no empathy, or you have an agenda. You are pitiful. And you are obligated to disclose defects to your buyer. So in addition, you are dishonest.

      Christina, thank you for letting us know the truth. I hope you are well. Are you?

  3. Christina, a bully would never have offered you a hand in friendship when first meeting you (and knowing all about your lawsuits).

    A bully would never have voted multiple times to allow your camera crew unimpeded access to the most recent meeting (I know you saw my hand go up in favour on every vote).

    A bully would never have turned around and asked you what it would take for you to finally move on with your life at that other meeting.

    It was only when you returned that exact question with a totally stunned look and a prolonged stammer that I understood perhaps you actually couldn't imagine a life without this lawsuit. Maybe it has become your life? I'm not sure.

    I had typed out a very thoughtful response here earlier with some careful advice for you with regards to the things you can expect to occur at trial but I hit the wrong damned key a few minutes ago and ended up on another blog page in a flash. Not happy about that at all, because I simply don't have the time to do it again and I don't know how to retrieve it. Oh well, there are a few other things I do know that might compensate for my lack of computer skills...

    1. "Dear" BULLY,
      you are bully, as you, I am sure did all, you yourself described, because THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT BULLYS DO.
      Christina, TRULLY DEAR, it is a history-old trick to accuse someone like you to be 'mad', 'with crazy glaze', etc. Also, this idiot 'anonymous' is certainly paid by the directors, or benefited otherwise from what he/she does, and those 'sympathetic' to you shouldn't be approaching you after the meeting paying compliments, BUT SUPPORTING YOU DURING. If you read on 'sociopathic behaviour'/ASPD, he/she may also be one of the affected with the disease. After all it's not as rare, as many in 25 people. You see, he is already advising/intimidating you. Why would somebody show their care by giving an advise, if they expressed explicitly their dislike towards you??? typical sociopathic behaviour.

  4. The short version you are reading now is that unless you are prepared to finally move on with your life right now they will destroy you in court very soon. You have been deceiving yourself for years and lawyers love to take money from the ill-informed. The case next door that was referred to at Monday's meeting and involved members of the same legal team opposing you now utterly dismembered a similar lawsuit and left the plaintiff over a million dollars in the hole. She should have settle earlier...much earlier.

    The window for you to wrap this up and settle without incurring even more legal costs on your part is closing quickly. From what I can tell the insurers and their legal team are aggressively moving towards court because they smell absolute victory. It won't turn out the way you want, I can assure you.If they thought for one single second that they might lose this case in any way they would be stalling to avoid court but instead they are racing towards court now. Think about it.

    With insurance settlements it is often a case of figuring out what their costs will be to gain a courtroom victory versus what they are willing to spend to avoid court. At the same time the plaintiff needs to know what it will realistically take (those are two especially key words in your case) to get on with their life.

    It won't be a long process. You must achieve common ground within literally the first few back and forth offers and they will either accept or throw you to the lions in court. I've been there done that got the cash in the bank thank you very much on several occasions. I've also gone to court and won but the costs weren't worth the result.

    You need to know the realistic number, you need to be ready to sign. And in your case that amount will be nowhere near your astronomical desires but maybe you can get enough money to leave (yes, that will be a condition) and live quite comfortably somewhere else after turning your condo over to MDR to gut and rebuild at their expense.There will not be one penny for your self-imposed pain and suffering, even if you did use a bucket in the garage to bathe.

    You can take advantage of this rapidly closing window (maybe) or not but I can all but guarantee you that whatever minuscule amount the court awards to you--if any--will be based almost entirely on the original damages done to your unit before this whole thing spiraled out of control into massive finger-pointing.

    I might be able to lend some assistance to bridge the angry gap between you and everybody else. Just maybe.

    If you want to work quickly towards a resolution you can pin a small brightly colored note in the PH 1 mailroom board that simply says "Alan, CS" followed by a ph # or e-mail address.

    Remember, this is ONLY if you are ready to move forward with your life and finally let go of this. Otherwise, delete my comments and I will leave you alone.

    I do not envy you, but I don't feel sorry for you either. You don't need my pity, anyway. But it's hard for me to stand by and watch somebody keep hitting themselves with a hammer thinking that suing the hammer manufacturer will solve all their problems.

    1. Anonymous.

      It seems like you are very confused.

      If you are referring to the Grand Harbour Condo court case (use this link, is little in common with the ongoing Nightmare at Marina Del Rey case.

      I also fail to see where "members of the same legal team opposing you now utterly dismembered a similar lawsuit and left the plaintiff over a million dollars in the hole" - as you incorrectly claim.

      The plaintiff "asked for the attic to be legalized as part of her unit, approval of the work she had done, and extensive damages for the cost of renovating and repairing the unit."

      In fact, Mr. Aaron points out, the plaintiff was paid "almost $300,000 in damages, plus close-up costs and renovation costs to the third floor."

      And yet you claim the plaintiff had to pay "over a million dollars". Where? The plaintiff won - but not the right to retain the illegal attic conversion.

      Seems like you are a lot more scared than Ms. Sobolak is, as your almost-hysterical comments about quickly settling her case appear to be made in desperation - for whatever reason.

      By the looks of it, no sane person would follow your advice, as it would be for all the wrong reasons.

      Don't know what your agenda is, but I know from experience - the only people concerned about their property values going down are the ones who are sellouts, and don't intend on sticking around (despite all their big talk).

  5. Bountiful Films13 April 2013 at 10:53

    Dear Anonymous,

    As you may know, Bountiful Films is shooting a documentary about condo living - the heartaches and the joys. We're a well-established documentary company with a reputation for balance and fairness and we'd like to talk to you about your experience.
    It sounds like Marina Del Rey is a haven for you and your family.
    Please contact me anytime.
    Your point of view is important to us.

    Yvette Brend
    Bountiful Films
    (604) 931-5225

  6. Christina Sobolak13 April 2013 at 10:56

    If you wish to private message me, my email is I am interested in hearing your advice and solution to my problems.

  7. I have reached out to you via private message twice, once on Saturday April 13 and again early this morning. There has not been the slightest acknowledgement from you.

    With the considerable risk of incurring substantial wrath from fellow MDR homeowners for reaching out to you in the first place, I made my offer in good faith and in the spirit of a satisfactory and immediate solution for all parties concerned. I personally have nothing to gain from reaching out but plenty to lose. But I did it anyway...

    In any case, I simply cannot help somebody who appears to be unable or unwilling to participate in a fast-track solutions-oriented process. I thought I had clearly communicated the importance of speed, but like so many aspects of this entire debacle it has apparently been misunderstood, misinterpreted or perhaps ignored.

    Please consider this comment of mine on your blog to be my notice that my offer(s) to help has been irrevocably rescinded. As you have been for so many years Christina, you are once again entirely on your own.

  8. Christina Sobolak17 April 2013 at 08:23

    I checked my inbox, I don't see your 2 messages Alan, please resend to:
    I am very interested.

  9. With all due respect to all parties involved I was merely offering to bridge a gap and see if I could help find a way to wrap this up and move forward. Sometimes it takes a bit of a hard shove to get something big and heavy unstuck. This has been a long and arduous process, for many reasons...some personal, some political, some technical, some legal.
    It is all too easy to become mired in the quagmire of 11 years' worth of painstakingly detailed issues on both sides and thus lose sight of a single solution. The court case will last days if not weeks simply on the basis of evidence alone, never mind cross-examination.
    Claire, I will admit that my first post was a little harsh. It was designed intentionally as an attention-getter because I wanted a response. But if you would take a moment to read my follow-up thoughts you will have a very clear concept as to my deeper motives, which was quite simply to help. I sincerely doubt that you could have any issues with that...
    You must understand that I have an acute awareness of the situation and the timelines, in addition to the psychology of insurance companies. In order for any kind of rapid resolution we would need determination, clarity and discipline plus a strong desire to settle, literally within days. And we would need that strong desire from both sides. I was starting with Christina and then if it appeared that we had traction we would then have a good chance of hammering something out very soon. I think I got that across rather clearly, to the point that I sent a private message as per Christina's request within minutes of seeing it here and another message from me was sent a few days later. You will notice that I asked for communication info to be provided in a more physical manner (i.e. a wee discrete note in the mail room, which I looked for twice per day)
    No response, other than a post I saw here (since removed) telling me that her clients needed her at this busy time of year and she couldn't be "distracted" by the lawsuit. That unusual post --which I will include at the end of this comment--was removed and another one installed in its place asking me to private message a third time. But I read the "pond" post carefully and realized that the desire on Christina's part was either absent or misplaced and frankly I can only work within this narrow scope if all the pieces are firmly in place. No stalling, no meandering, no traipsing down well-worn paths. Solution-oriented, realistic approaches within a specific time-frame. It is literally the only way.
    Christina, you might have your e-mail privacy settings too strict. Check your Junk mail to see if my message is there. You spelled your address two slightly different ways and I sent both messages to both of them. One address worked, the other bounced back.

    Here is the first (now removed) response I got, and now you know why I had respectfully withdrawn my offer to lend assistance in the only way I knew how. I am truly sorry to have intervened. If my methods were upsetting, my intentions were sincere.

    "Christina Sobolak16 April 2013 17:40
    Pond season has started! I am concentrating on my loyal clients who have seen me suffer! They all have such beautiful gardens and the water feature is the focal point! I must serve my clients and not allow this lawsuit to distract me from my business and what brings such joy to both clients and myself"

    1. Yes, Alan, I was busy cleaning a fish pond on Saturday. Contrary to your belief, I have to maintain my business and earn a living. I can't abandon my pond customers during peak season.

  10. Alan, I think that it is good that you express what you think.
    But please take into consideration that you are making a fool of yourself and you are also hurting other people.

    Many condo owners are upset with the water shut downs, floods of units, and windows that leak. I am actually one of Christina's friends and I would like for you to stop saying hurtful things.

    I also have three questions for you: How old are you? Because of the way you wrote those comments, people might think you are 10 years old. The second question is: What would you do if your wife broke her arm because of flooding in your condo? That is what happened to Christina. (Also, a person should not have to wear a face mask in their own home because of mould, don't you think?) Thirdly, Why isn't the corporation doing anything to fix her wrecked condo? They seem to repair other people's units.

  11. Judging by the comment thread some people have no idea of the huge nightmare that it is to have a leaking condo unit, mould and constant repairs are. Plus it's huge costs with unit owners being expected by boards to also cover some of their own repair work event though it's not their fault. Condo boards needs to be held responsible for failing the maintain common elements and exposing unit owners to health risks.

  12. Those of you who think it's not so bad to have your home wrecked once because you get to replace everything with new - Think again. It's truly an ordeal having your walls, flooring, kitchen, furniture, and personal belongings wrecked. It's time consuming, very distracting and affects your work and personal life. Having to deal with an insurance company and contractors is an arduous task. Now imagine what a nightmare it is when you lost your insurance, it was cancelled!!! because your home is considered "high risk" because you have had so many floods, Repeated destruction of your home and an ongoing leaking problem make's your unit uninsurable. What is the first thing an insurance broker asks when you apply for insurance? "Why don't you have insurance and have you had any incidents in the last 5 years?" Now imagine what they would think when I explain to them all my problems in my unit and with the building! You can't get insurance for a car that sits in a heap on your driveway after it is repeatedly wrecked in a major accidents because your neighbours consistently ignore the stop sign at the corner of your street - same goes for a condo.

  13. I'm a realtor who doesn't live in the building, but has a client interested in the building. I have one simple point: My client loves the unit she saw in MDR (2267) but is worried about making an offer because of this blog. Simple point, take it as you wish. X

    1. Yes, it's so simple, that it's primitive. Self sell, no it's deeper,

  14. Christina is most definitely a bully and in need of psychiatric help. She has no husband, no kids, no family and no friends. Her one and only love is to create and perpetuate conflict. She is a loser. Always has been, always will be. She only knows how to argue and name call. Do not engage or associate with this pathetic beast. She will get all that she deserves.

    1. Wow,! Some people are so nasty. Bully cuts me down. Instead, what about helping a neighbour have her home rebuilt?

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