Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Crumbling Garage Removed In Only 7 Days

I came across a garage that was in the process of falling in on itself a week ago. It was actually exactly a week ago that I found this garage. The roof had already caved in, but had not yet fallen to the ground. I reported it to 311 by email, then called them to ensure they got the photo and were notified right away, regarding this potential danger to people and/or animals in the area.
The City Planning department contacted me early the next day, to let me know they were on the case. They were taking this issue quite seriously, or at least that is what I was told. I expressed the need for the garage to be taken down immediately, as it posed a danger. The City Planning employee said he would contact the demolition company and get back to me. I received a return call fairly quickly and was told the demolition people were prepared to take the garage down that very day. Wow, I thought. That would be great.
But wait, there's a hitch. The demolition company needs a P.O. Number, you know, a purchase order number, so they are not charged at the landfill when disposing of the materials. I asked how long that would take, and was told it would take up to a week. Well, I guess it took a week.
Wednesday, July 20 - garage found with roof already fallen in

Thursday, July 21 - inside view of garage, showing roof dropping to the ground
Saturday, July 23 - garage wall falling further into the lane
Sunday, July 24 - garage door falling, showing different angle

Monday, July 25 - garage showing exposed side
Tuesday, July 26 - garage still there, walls still falling
Wednesday, July 27 - finally no garage
So, it took a full week for the garage, which was literally fallilng down, to be removed. Even though the demolition company was prepared to take care of it immediately, the very day they were told about it, the garage removal was delayed a full week.
Must I ask the question? Sure, why not. How long would it have taken to be removed if that garage were in Tuxedo or Crescentwood? Oh wait a minute, it would never have been allowed to get that bad. The landlord, or home owner would be required to uphold the Neighbourhood Livability By-Laws. And if a resident reported a garage that was in violation, it would have been taken care of. So, my question really was a stupid one. The better neighbourhoods would never have a garage falling apart to this extent. The better neighbourhoods are able to make complaints about houses and / or garages before they get to this stage, and have things dealt with.
Only in the North End can a building be so ignored. Fill a street with rental properties. Hold no landlord accountable. Hold no tenant accountable for any damage done to property or neighbourhood. Let Police and Waste Management alike drive right by crumbling buildings. Tell residents that buildings are 'not that bad' when they report By-Law infractions often enough that they stop calling them in. And put no rush on a demolition when a citizen, resident of the area, executive member of the residents association responsible for the area that garage was located in, screams DANGER.
Isn't that just par for the course.
I see now why volunteers in the North End get so burned out. Nobody in these City departments really give a rats *ss about the North End. I expect better from my city.
And you haven't heard the last from me on this one.

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