Thursday, July 21, 2011

Roof Caving In On House ... Reported April 27/11

On the topic of buildings falling down on themselves, I have another gem. There is a house down the street that I noticed in late April. It is a single story home with an addition built onto the back of it, a sort of lean-to addition popular in this area. I noticed it on one of my daily walks down the lane. The roof on this house was sinking. It concerned me for a few reasons. First, the roof was caving in. And second, there was an older gentleman in the yard. My thought on that was that there was, very possibly, an older gentleman living in this home and the roof may collapse in on him.
I was truely concerned for the safety of the individual, who likely lived in this home. Now the residence had a few other concerns as well. The yard was filled, and I mean filled, with piles of material. The house was not maintained, and needed far more than just correcting the imminent collapse of the roof. But my real concern was for the safety of the individual inside the house.
I wrote an email to 311 on April 27, 2011, notifying them of this safety issue I had.
There is a house on my street that seems to be in desperate need of repair. It is xxx xxx Ave. I have attached a photo of the back yard. The addition at the back of the house has the roof caving in on itself. I believe there is an elderly gentleman living in the residence and I would hate to have that addition fall in on him. Could you please investigate this location.
The image I included in my report to 311 is the following:
As the days, weeks, and months passed since sending in that first image and notification, I have watched the roof drop further and further down into the house. I have contacted my councillor on the matter. I have requested updates from the City. But everything takes time. The City is on the case.
On June 24, I provided an updated image of the roof of this same house, as it dropped significantly from the first time I had reported it.

Then yesterday, while coming back from my extended walk, I passed this same house. After just witnessing a garage in imminent danger of falling on someone, I saw the roof finally dropped in on itself.

I mentioned this particular residence to the City Planning person who called me this morning regarding the demolition plans for the garage down the road. He said not to worry. The gentleman does not live in that house. It is a vacant house. The guy just uses it to store stuff. I was told not to worry because the yard has a fence around it, so there is no danger of anyone getting hurt if the structure falls.
I took it upon myself to ask this City Planning person a few questions. I asked when he was first notified of this residence. He said May 4. It was redirected to him from another department. He said he provided a notification to the owner. I asked how long he gave the individual in the notification. The owner was given until July 13 to get a demolition permit. I asked about the deadline on the demolition. It seems that does not have to be completed until the end of September.
There was no concern that the roof had fallen. There was no urgency in removing the back extention on the house for safety reasons. I should not worry about the safety of the house, the owner, or the neighbourhood. I shouldn't worry, because the yard has a fence.
I guess I have been told. There is no need to be concerned. The yard has a fence.
Silly me!


  1. Wonderful Blog on the falling down House. I have sent it to Peter DeGraaf, head of by law enforcement Hopefully he will put some pressure on his staff.
    Send them all in to 311. There is no excuse for falling down houses .
    Did you know the livability by law says if 25% of paint is peeling the landlord has to paint the house...Great work. Sel Burrows

  2. Thanks for the comment Sel. I believe there was a complaint made last September already, regarding several By-Law infractions on this residence. The By-Law department should be explaining to us why the residence is in the state it is now, almost a full year after being notified. They should be explaining to the entire North End why our complaints seem to be falling on deaf ears. And this is one of those vacant houses that is supposed to be eligible for fast tracking by the city.

  3. I know it's late, but may I ask who's the owner of that house? What happened that year? Was it demolished? It’s dangerous having a roof like that. I'm hoping for some updates about this story. Thanks!

  4. I think it’s still very nice of you to be concerned of your neighborhood. At least you were able to make people aware of the state of the garage and prevent anything worse from happening. It’s lucky that it didn’t fall on anyone too.

    Lenore Lung

  5. That roof could’ve collapsed in no time! I just can't get it. Why is it that your complaints fell on deaf ears? A roof like that is totally dangerous! I wish you could update us about this story. Thanks!