Oakville Homes

June 16, 2013

Some like it hot and illegal while others go the extra mile to protect your family. Ads versus reality in Mattamy land.

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Mattamy Homes seems to feel that large two page spread ads in the Saturday Toronto Star are what will attract buyers.  Cutsey ads that say it like it should be, not necessarily how it will be.  They don’t mention quality (may be held accountable) but give you titles like “Prestigious Living is Coming Soon to Aurora”.  One would assume they mean Mattamy, not some other builder.  They talk about “parks where neighbours can gather and enjoy the surroundings” and, “walking/biking trails for families to enjoy“.  Like it is their idea and plans that give you all this.

They don’t mention that they are required by law to “reserve land as part of a subdivision approval.”  They can of course arrange a cash payment in lieu.  In Alberta, this can be up to 10 percent of the land that must be put aside for the community use.  As well in Alberta, “Reserve land and land for road requirements are taken without compensation. The Subdivision Authority may require land for roads and public utilities up to a maximum of 30 percent of the area of the parcel of land less the area taken as environmental reserve or environmental reserve easement.”

Mattamy Protester knows the score

Mattamy Protester knows the score

Land like ravines, etc become trails, etc for the community.  So, Mattamy isn’t doing this from the goodness of their hearts.  They do this because they have to in order to build their sub-divisions.  Oakville has a by-law that has been instrumental in the development of the lakefront pathway.  Started by ex-mayor Harry Barrett, this by-law requires that if any large estate along the waterfront is sold to a developer and they wish to increase density, they are required to give the land along the lake to the Town of Oakville.  When Peter Gilgan sold his mansion “Edgemere” for development, they all found out even his donations couldn’t stop that process.  Now, to sweeten the planning pot, developers might foot the bill for some of the landscaping etc in these lands but, in the long run, you the taxpayer will fork out for improvements, maintenance etc.  So, we don’t get a free ride.

Now, we all know the illegal stuff Mattamy has done in the past (and in the future??) and they try to show how good of a builder they are by making it seem they are responsible for the walkways/pathways, ravine nature areas etc.  So sorry Gilgan but, I would suggest it was planners and some of the more enlightened councilors in Oakville who have made the area what it is.  Of course, I stand to be corrected if Aurora needed your somewhat suspect help.  Remember Aurora – there is a cost to every gift.  Just ask Milton.

The 2006 Ontario Building Code was amended on June 18, 2008 (O.Reg. 205/08) to include for the requirement to sprinkler residential buildings higher than 3 storeys.  I only wish they would also include the right for homeowners to hire a house inspector for new builds but, at least this is a move in the right direction.

What does Mattamy do?  Follows the Building Code to the letter – to the minimum.  Some have had that thrown at you when you mention something.  Hey, it’s to code.  I asked why my garage door didn’t have an automatic closure.  Theft was the answer and they’d have left it at that until I mentioned it was illegal.  This I knew – the illegal wiring, well it had a Town of Oakville seal of approval.

There is a builder who has looked beyond the MINIMUM and instead of wasting money on ads telling you about parks, which even this builder must put into place, Townwood Homes is the first builder to install, as STANDARD equipment, sprinkler systems into their newest sub-division at Mackenzie Ridge Terraces, Vaughan.  They weren’t forced to by some town by-law nor did they fight to only do minimum code.  They recognized the dangers of fire in residential homes (81 lives lost in 2006) and went the extra step.  Mattamy – they do illegal wiring instead.  Probably would tell you to piss off on the fire.

Mattamy’s true colours came out when they trucked in a lot of workers from various job sites (was your home late in being constructed) to argue that the Development Charges were too high.  These are the charges that pay for the infrastructure costs that developers create with their developments.  Otherwise, the existing taxpayer would be paying for new sewers in open fields while builders like Gilgan became billionaires.  Yes, I forgot, he did get to be a $1.8 billion builder.  Oakville and Burlington got stung big time having to pay for the Milton pipeline that lined a few builder’s pockets.  We’re still paying for Milton water.

So, when you read the ads, compare a builder who talks the talk while some actually walk the walk.  What is more important to you?  A safe house with legal wiring and sprinklers to protect your family or, a shallow lifestyle promised in the Toronto Star?

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