Oakville Homes

March 10, 2011

Mattamy obsession? – Bracebridge might not think so.


Someone did a search on homebuilders and found my blog.  Appears they feel I am obsessed with Mattamy and wonder why. 

 Well, I will be the first to admit that I do focus on Mattamy but my information could pertain to any builder in terms of problems and workmanship.  I use Mattamy as they seem to be the ones with the most problems over a broader geographical area; operate with a certain arrogance that precludes doing the right thing when found wrong; have a proven record of either breaking or skirting the law in order to conclude construction; allow shortcuts or cause shortcuts to happen that reduce the quality of the built structure; have been accused of “padding” the Customer Satisfaction survey results with gifts, etc; have not been shy about using bully boys and yelling lawyers to get their way; and, guilty of environmental crimes and putting children’s lives at risk. 

This is the short list.

So, yes, my blog does tend towards Mattamy as I do have the facts to prove the issues that a new homebuyer should be aware of when researching the purchase of a new home – probably the largest investment they will make.  Knowing that a large established builder can be guilty of these issues, only makes the purchaser that much more aware when buying a home from any builder.  They know what to look for and, know that a professional house inspector can help them in this endeavour.  I hope that addresses the comment made.

And speaking of issues and Mattamy.  I think most people are aware of the issue in Bracebridge with Mattamy.  It would appear that they are the only company having this issue there. 

Short story – Mattamy builds houses in Bracebridge and the basements leak, along with poor flood control of the area.  Bracebridge demands and gets a security deposit for future repairs.  Mattamy wants it back and says all is well in Mattamy land in Bracebridge and produce engineers to prove it.  Fortunately,the elected representatives of the taxpayer decide to see what Spring brings and keep the deposit.

How bad is it?

A recent story at CottageCountryNow.ca shows that the elected officials were smart to keep the money. 

“The first sign is the icy puddles and cracks on Pheasant Run and the second is the “for sale” signs dotting the subdivision.” 

Methinks that the Mattamy engineers aren’t seeing the whole picture.  One thing you hear about Mattamy is that their homes sell cheaper than the competitors.  Now, we know that Billionaire Peter Gilgan is not selling homes cheap for the good of the plebs in our world.  He wants to sell and make a profit.  How does a homebuilder undercut his competitor when labour and materials are probably the same?  You might use unskilled and cheaper labour to make the build but materials are materials.  Another way is to buy the land cheap.  But in a sub-division, all the builders are buying land so how do you get it cheaper?

One way is to buy sub-standard land – like swampland.  In Cambridge, Mattamy wiped out a significant wetland to get cheap land.  In Ottawa, they wanted to terra-form flood areas and got caught.   Would those homes have been problematic in terms of flooding if Ottawa had allowed them to be built? 

In Bracebridge, according to the article, they built in a problem area – thus cheaper.

“According to Mattamy resident Bud Leonard, the drainage issues in the subdivision are nowhere near a thing of the past.  Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said. “Didn’t anybody check with the homeowners?”

It wasn’t long after residents began moving in that complaints about flooded basements and excessive water buildup on the roads began to surface.”

“Last week Ron Walton, town engineer, confirmed that the municipality is aware of the situation.

“There’s a large area of rock that drains through that area and has created significant icing problems,” said Walton. “It’s an area that’s between the developed phase of the subdivision and the undeveloped phase. It’s a natural drainage area where the infrastructure just isn’t in place yet to capture it.”

Yes, I know the area and it is rocky and would be hard to build on.  If the builder wanted to save money and undercut the competition, they would buy the cheaper land.  But, if you do so, there will be added expenses to ensure people aren’t flooded out.  But, maybe the builder doesn’t want to spend the money to do so as the houses will not be able to compete.

They are also concerned about the large cracks running down the street. 

Although Brent Carey, Director of Communications for Mattamy feels there has been some communication with all concerned, at least one resident isn’t happy.

“Leonard, however, alleges Mattamy has been ducking the problem. He said it’s time for the company to step up and finish what it started. It’s not the town who will end up paying for this, it’s the taxpayers,” he said. “Mattamy isn’t getting any more of my money.”

Much like the battle in Halton where Mattamy didn’t want to pay the proper development charges for infrastructure.  They had money to shut down worksites, bus in a plethora of tradespeople and pay for a large advertising campaign but, no money for the Region.  Guess they are trying to save money in Bracebridge.  I’m glad that the town council for Bracebridge is sticking to their guns.   It would appear no other builder is causing problems there (all areas have been approved) so, I guess it is time for Mattamy to bite the bullet and do the right thing.

A new experience I know Peter, but maybe you’ll get a warm fuzzy feeling by doing it.  Won’t help your billionaire status but those lesser unfortunate people who trusted you and paid big money for a dream house, might at least come out of this with a good feeling.  Either that, or there will be more “For Sale” signs up.

Obsessed – who wouldn’t be if they had to deal with Mattamy?



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  1. I completely feel that this issue needs to be brought to the attention who will push Mattamy to fix this issue. 2 days of rain leads us to walk into a foot deep of water in our basement and its not considered an “emergency” when you call Mattamy to complain.

    Comment by Shannon — August 11, 2012 @ 2:49 pm | Reply

    • Shannon… The Town of Bracebridge was supposed to hold off paying Mattamy their security deposit until this matter was resolved. I notice no comments have been made to my knowledge about deposit being returned. I would hound your local councillor and ask him what was done and what is being done. It was the Town’s and Mattamy’s responsibility to ensure this matter was resolved. Also, ensure all forms were completed by due date and documented with photos. If this is the same issue you had under warranty, then I assume a lawyer could argue that this damage is Mattamy and the Town’s fault if they OK’d the problem as being resolved. IF neighbours affected, organize them for a field trip to see Mayor and Councillors at Town Hall and make them accountable for the issue. Politicians don’t mind getting money from builders (i.e. donations for elections) but need to be held accountable for upholding Town’s building codes.

      Comment by John Franklin — August 12, 2012 @ 10:15 am | Reply

    • Hi Shannon, I’m a reporter from the Bracebridge Examiner. Wondering if you would like to speak about your home’s situation. We’ve done previous stories on problems with the Mattamy subdivision before. Please give us a call at 705-645-8771.

      Comment by Anonymous — August 13, 2012 @ 10:41 am | Reply

  2. […] that it is business as usual.  I received a comment on my blog: “Mattamy obsession? – Bracebridge might not think so” by someone who is still experiencing flooding in her home.  Not just a drip, but flooding […]

    Pingback by Same old – same old. Mattamy et al still do the shaft. « Oakville Homes — August 14, 2012 @ 7:06 pm | Reply

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