Oakville Homes

September 30, 2013

Mattamy 1 – Homeowner 0 House inspector only way to go.

My last post featured “Cowboy Builders”, a term used in England but certainly applicable to Canada.  You’ve read about them and occasionally something is done to help the screwed homeowner.  In Ontario, Tarion has a very shaky record in helping consumers, not surprising considering the slanted emphasis in regards to builders/developers on their board of directors.  Occasionally even the courts help out – probably against a builder who hasn’t paid his “political dues”.

Shows initiated by Mike Holmes and Brian Baeulmer try to help the consumer and do educate in what to look for but alas, hampered by ???, they do not show you who is screwing who.

In the Town of Oakville, who has received very large donations from Mattamy/Peter Gilgan in the past, it is obvious that the Mayor and Council will do nothing to really protect the consumer/homebuyer.  Yes, they have a Building Department who is “legally obligated” to enforce the somewhat weak building code but, as we have seen, they are less than perfect.  According to letters I have received, they will only inspect a dwelling when told it is time by the builder – reactive and not proactive.  So much for really looking after the consumer.

And, the Town of Oakville is afraid to enact a by-law allowing homeowners to hire a house inspector to monitor the build – something they could do under their responsibility to enforce the building code.  The house inspector would inform the building inspector of any infractions.  Like community policing where the public assist the police in policing their neighbourhood.  But, they seem afraid of this.  Why?  Too many donations by the developers/builders?  Someone have pictures of someone doing something with animals?  Who knows, except, the Mayor and Council refuse to help out the consumer.  A former councillor, who went the provincial route, voted to have the Council pass on my recommendation to the Ontario government.  The Ontario government, in their wisdom, felt they could not pass such a law as “it would cost the homeowner money”.  The councilor who voted to have it taken to the province, is also involved in the provincial decision to not place the power plants in Mississauga and Oakville.  That only cost the taxpayer $500 million it seems.  But, I guess friends of the Liberals were the beneficiaries of the monies spent so, all is well in the political world.  How about it Flynn, why not get a law passed that would help a homeowner and the cost is “optional”?

It is hard to fight city hall and I recently communicated with someone having a battle with another builder, Ballantrae.  They have similar issues with the builder and government agencies.  As a screwed homeowner, you quickly find that donations work and politicians really don’t care about the average homeowner, unless there is at least a photo-op.  Maybe we can arrange some photo-ops around election time, which is coming up.

My last post was number 600.  Other than having the Mattamy bully boys after me, the Mattamy legal beagles threatening me with libel and other ridiculous things, I must admit that I haven’t really accomplished what I wanted.  A by-law protecting homeowners.

As I have stated above, donations rule the roost and local politicians really don’t give a damn about these things.  Looking good does and getting donations even better but helping screwed homeowners – that is counterproductive to milking developers for donations.

So, I have decided to take a different tack – appears the mighty blog doesn’t accomplish anything.  A more proactive protest is in order I believe.  So, this will be my last regular blog posting, although I may visit it occasionally to pass on any tid-bits that are given me by those who want the truth out there.

The Mayor and Council of the Town of Oakville obviously don’t understand the word “apology” and, neither will I when the time comes.

So, remember, no one will look after you when you buy a house except yourself, your own paid lawyer and a professional house inspector.  Remember, you too can get screwed and if you hire a house inspector to monitor the build, just helps you in court where you will find yourself at odds to prove the “truth”.  Lawyers for builders hate that word and will do everything to prevent it from being introduced.

Me, I got the Mattamy Bully Boys.

March 7, 2011

Tweet about Mattamy

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As some of you already know, I have expanded this blog to a Twitter account – @MattamyWatch.  In terms of accessing new streams of information, I am finding it invaluable and, allows me to link to those wishing to read this blog.  To those linking, thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

One person contacted me via @MattamyWatch and asked the following: “@MattamyWatch I just sold a mattamy in Milton. Are you implying they are bad?”

Good question.

No, I would be totally false if I said they were bad.  They have produced some fine homes – with some areas having more than their share of problems though.

Lets say they sometimes skirt the law or, make some shortcuts that are not good for the homebuyer. 

Proven facts.

If you care to read my blog, you will see they have been charged – Ottawa for the illegal berm; sold houses in Kanata Fairwinds without permits to build and blew off trusting homebuyers; have had construction delayed due to the fact they dangerously began construction, putting construction workers and neighbours at risk, on land fertilized with human waste (Milton); been responsible for vast environmental damage to wetlands (Cambridge); constructed homes on land susceptible to flooding (Bracebridge); and, guilty of putting children’s lives at risk by doing illegal (code) wiring in Oakville.

Does this make their homes “Bad”? 

 No, but it certainly shows the level of ethics they use in selling and building homes.  As well, kind of forecasts potential problems you might have with a Mattamy home based on past performance – complaints of which seem to outnumber the competition.

 In terms of politics, Peter Gilan the billionaire and Mattamy have donated millions of dollars to very worthwhile causes such as the Oakville Hospital, Wellspring and, the Oakville YMCA.  Seems though, unlike a lot of other donators, he needs his name on the building.  For those that gave more and remained anonymous, we are grateful for your consideration.

Not bad in most books but, at what cost to the homeowner who seeks protection from those very people accepting the donations.  In my case, Peter Gilgan donated money, etc to a Wellspring project, a project supported by then Oakville mayor, Ann Mulvale.  The report on the illegal wiring never saw the light of day, and the matter was deferred to the province, who conveniently stated – they would not force builders to allow homeowners the right to hire a house inspector because it “might cost them (the homeower) money”. 

Duh……. 

It already costs the homeowner money to hire a house inspector anyways but does the province mean the builder might charge more to build the house properly so it will pass an inspection by an “independent” inspector instead of a municipal inspector (some of whom may be accepting gifts).

I assume Mattamy or Peter Gilgan would let me know if I am wrong. 

Just don’t send the bully boys like last time Peter.

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November 30, 2010

Mattamy loans money for infrastructure. What’s the angle?

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Read an interesting article on the James Snow Parkway, in Milton.  It used to known as the road to nowhere but, civilization has started to catch up with it.

Appears that a construction phase has been completed that “will provide an additional north-south link between Britannia and Derry that is expected to improve access both to and from Milton”.

What I found interesting was the following comment:

“Tim Dennis, director of Halton’s transportation services, reportedly stated that Mattamy Homes has constructed the project on behalf of the Region. Mattamy provided accelerated financing for the project that will be repaid by the Region”.

Here we have infrastructure construction being done and Mattamy financed it, with a repayment by the Region.  Sorry, but I thought “Development Fees” were to be used to construct infrastructure to accommodate growth.  The reason for the extension and construction is due to the developers in the area increasing the load factor on our present infrastructure.  Without their work, we would not need the infrastructure increase and, I don’t think we need to do it to attract developers.  They are around us like flies to ………

So, pray tell, why are we borrowing money from a developer to adjust our infrastructure to accommodate all the development the developers are causing?  Did they give us a good rate?  What are the conditions?  Did Mattamy get concessions of future considerations?  Just what is this costing the taxpayer?

Questions that should be asked and it appears they aren’t by our elected officials.  And, will the consumer get shafted like some have in the past when Mattamy has a problem.  Like illegal (code) wiring that puts children’s lives at risk.  So much for depending on our new council to look after the needs of the taxpayer.

What’s next?  Milton will be called “Mattamy Land”.  It would be appropriate considering the number of people taken for a ride on the “Gilgan Express”.  I even got the“Bully Boy ” thrill ride myself.
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August 21, 2009

Does Mattamy Homes discriminate???

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Some feel that my blog is too negative towards Mattamy but, considering how they have treated not only myself but others, it is hard to be kind.

Here is one link though that shows what Mattamy is capable of – just trying to figure out how to motivate them to this unbelievable height.

If you go to “Cool Ravings” you see that Mattamy did the following for a homeowner:

What Mattamy has done post move in is this:

  • Rebuilt or cultured stone fireplace. (it was too big)
  • Re-shingled our roof. (wrong colour)
  • Re-painted our interior (poor paint job)
  • Installed missing coach lights outside.
  • Added missing brick over window and door on front of house. (They had flashing in place)
  • Re installed our hardwood flooring in main hall and re installed the ceramic tile in garage to powder room areas.
  • Turned our French doors around in our office/den because they opened into the dining room rather than the office as per the plan.  This also meant that the transition on the floor needed to be changed going from hardwood to carpet.  So they’re putting in a granite threshold for us.
  • Plus a multiple of patch/fixes throughout the house that are almost all taken care of.

Myself, I’d love to tell you how my case was treated but can’t due to the GAG ORDER.  You’ll note, if you visit their blog, that they feel that the trades are to blame for the problems and that Mattamy has been good to them.  This, I am glad to see.  But it raises the question:  if they can do good for this homeowner, what happened to the rest of us?  I know in my case, they broke the law, so they won’t be too forthcoming with corrective work based on what their lawyers have probably told them.

But what about those I have had comments from?  Why not them?

In my Bully Boy Blog, two homeowners are obviously being shafted royally, which you can read from the comment section.  One with window problems (hey, I understand you there on that) and another on water stain problems.  It appears, from the comments that Mattamy is squealing like a pig and trying to slide under the responsibility fence concerning these problems. 

So, why would these two people be discriminated against in terms of good service in comparision to Cool Ravings.  What’s the secret??

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August 17, 2009

Bully Boys – Mattamy style

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You’ll have noticed that I have mentioned Bully Boys a few times in my blog and you may be wondering – what Bully Boys?

When I first had my problem with Mattamy and the lack of communication/service, I decided to become more vocal and expressive – within the law mind you.

I was putting information brochures on car windows near a new Mattamy development when a Mattamy employee began taking the sheets of paper from the car windows.  I informed him that unless he owned the car or had permission from the owner, it was considered theft to take the papers.

Deciding not to argue the point he left and was immediately replaced by two lumbering muscle boys in matching Mattamy shirts.  Short, stocky and mean looking, they approached me and I don’t think it was to put me on their dance list.  I informed them of the law with respect to assault and, with a certain level of wisdom, they withdrew from a potentially violent confrontation (at least violent to me). 

No sooner had they rounded the corner of the building, when a very upset and visibly angry Peter Gilgan strutted towards me.  Fearing further violence, I informed him of the law and I guess he decided that it would not be in his best interest to be seen beating up a customer.

Now, you could say that this was “one of” or, if you got your Mattamy gift basket, that I provoked this show of Bully Boy.  Whatever the case, my legal demonstration was initially approached with what I perceived, potential violence on my personage.

Am I the only one to face off with Mattamy.  According to a comment in one of my blogs, “Jane Doe” feels very threatened in her Mattamy dealings.  I quote: “Sorry for the pseudonym, but I’ve heard stories about Mattamy coming after people who tried to bring their errors to light. I am the person who wrote my about my experience in Jacksonville, FL. I just wanted to thank you for writing this blog that exposes Mattamy and their horrible homes and for the article about the drywall. I had not heard of this problem, but after reading the article it seems to fit the bill for what’s been going on here.”

Now, does that sound like someone in a normal business relationship with a responsible builder?  I don’t think so.

You’ll have all read about the ongoing and recent Development Charge incident in Halton where Mattamy flooded council with PAID VOLUNTOLDS to protest the increase in Development Charges.  Council voted to put it off for 30 days and do some consultation.

In the Mattamy website you will read: ”

“We are pleased that the Halton Regional Council unanimously voted today to amend their motion and as requested, invite discussion and consultation over the next two months on the $8,000 tax increase on new homeowners.

We’ll be working to put together a proposal that ensures that all development, not taxpayers, fairly pays for itself.”

“Working to put together”???  Later in the same blog, you read the following from a report issued by ex -Justice Farley, who was hired by Mattamy:

“Farley’s 13-page memo concludes that the charges are “beyond the legal jurisdiction of the region” and he warns that councillors who voted in favor of them would be in “dereliction of their duties” under the Ontario Municipal Act and the province’s Development Charges Act.

He added it would be “prudent for the Council to rescind its approval.”

Mattamy wants to WORK TOGETHER  on one hand and then calls in the Dogs of Law to make what I perceive, a veiled threat towards our councillors.   I mean, what does he mean by “PRUDENT” AND “RESCIND”.  Is he talking legal action or what?  Mmmm, I’ve seen movies with this kind of dialogue and it wasn’t some girly flic either.  I can see Gilgan in the black leather jacket and dark glasses – “I’ll be back”.

I guess the customer gets the full Bully Boy treatment while our councillors get the hired help Legal Beagles to make their life rough.

Is this the type of company you want to trust the lives of your family with?  I did and they could have been killed with the illegal (code) wiring and myself – Bully Boy justice

Instead of living your own “High Noon”, get your own hired gun – the House Inspector.

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May 21, 2009

Mattamy admits to environmental crime……

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Well folks, although you read it here first (March 19th), the mainstream press is finally reporting that Mattamy plead guilty to environmental crimes. In an article printed by the Ottawa Business Journal, it is reported that Mattamy Homes plead guilty “in provincial offences court on March 5 to violating the Conservation Authorities Act when it constructed a 400-by-25-metre berm”.

“We encourage property owners and contractors to get in touch with our office prior to any near-shore or in-water work to ensure that all issues related to the flood plain, habitat protection and sustainable development are considered,” said regulations officer Shelley Macpherson in a statement”

Well, Mattamy has a habit of not getting in touch, except  with legal threats and bully boys.  They started construction in Milton on land fertilized with human waste and began construction in the Ottawa area without permits.  Out of touch or just arrogant???  They even get inspectors to pass illegally wired furnaces.  Now that is power…

Nice to see that the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority saw what happened and proceeded to correct the problem and bring Mattamy to justice.   Something the Town of Oakville could learn from, right Ann and Rob.

The Toronto Star, I don’t think has made this public but, Mattamy is a large advertiser.  I guess advertising supersedes news in this paper.  (for more see this link )  Kudos to the Ottawa Business Journal for notifying the public of the results of the charges and to the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority for being vigilant.

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