Oakville Homes

November 14, 2011

Don’t developers know how to revitalize without fire or lack of maintenance?

Why do you pick the home you did?

Some pick it because of the design, layout and maybe quality.  First two are usually fairly firm but not guaranteed as the small print states the builder can make changes and, the last one is certainly not guaranteed.  At least in my case with Mattamy.  Another reason to pick a home is the community that surrounds it.  For brand new sub-divisions you are taking the developers word that there will be a community infrastructure built-in the near future.  Some buy in established areas as they can experience the character of a community immediately after  moving there.

Some developers will destroy a communities’ character in order to build their own idea of what nature should look like.  In Cambridge, Mattamy wipes out a wetland and built their own nature preserve.  Not sure how the local inhabitants felt about that – not the humans but those that actually lived in the wetland.  I know the humans who lived in the area weren’t impressed.

In my community, it is kind of split north and south.  Oakville has the old section south of the QEW and the new part north of the QEW.  Those living in the south part grew up with a certain character for their downtown.  For those north – at least those I talked to, seem to have moved here for a number of reasons but one is the small town look, character and ambience of the downtown.  They didn’t like the glass tower look that Toronto has gone to nor the vast wasteland of malls, etc Mississauga has developed over the years.  I still remember when Mississauga had some character.  Check the strip along Lakeshore now, especially in Port Credit.

Seems though that some smart people have bought up sections of Oakville at cheap prices.  Yes, there were bargains in Oakville in the past.  They bought, put up the rents, drove out the businesses, re-rented at a higher rent, drove up the rent again and in some cases,  let the buildings stay vacant.  A developers dream – deteriorating buildings that are prime targets for the youth who love a good blaze.  Ask Mattamy – they’ve had a few buildings they were responsible for go up in flames.  Methinks the old – it’s the youth of our day who are firebugs – excuses are wearing thin.  And no Peter, I’m not saying you walk around with matches looking for a good place to burn so call off your dogs.

I and others moved to Oakville for good reasons.  We are not against development per se nor rebuilding but, what is wrong with revitalization by ensuring the historical buildings are kept in good shape and business opportunities are encouraged to inhabit these buildings and not drive them away via greed.  Rents go up but no money is put into the structures.  Where does the rent money go?  Greed.

I’ve heard the excuses – if you like the downtown so much why don’t you buy the property and do it yourself.  I would but $40 million for the property is a little steep for me since I made my money honestly and I’m using it to pay for the poor quality Mattamy gave me.

Maybe the architects should learn how to keep a building in shape and to renew it without just tearing it down and putting up an ugly block of glass and steel.  Keep the character and use their skills inside to do a makeover.  Tearing down quality and character and putting up a square of steel shows a decline I think in our building skills.  I doubt we could actually build what they did in the past.  Maybe that is why they let things go downhill and just tear it down.

Shame – a sad note on civilization.  But then, it seems greed is the name of the game today – Black, Murdoch, etc.





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