Oakville Homes

October 11, 2013

Does Boss Hogg live in Oakville? Maybe Bubba knows.



Some talk the talk while others walk the walk.  Some use donations and advertising to show their worth while others depend on word of mouth via quality products.

Some people will surf the web and visit forums and other sources to help determine a course of action.  Myself, I use Tripadvisor.ca before picking a hotel/motel on any trip.  You need to take all comments with a grain of salt (# bad occurrences, too high standards for what they intended to pay, etc) but, on the whole, I have found them to be very useful.

Where do you go if you want to buy a home?  A real estate office (who want to make money selling the joint), newspaper articles on housing (who make money off the advertising by builders), Tarion (builder/developer dominated agency), people on the street (who want to keep values up, especially if a speculator) or friends (which you could lose if the advice turns sour)?  Very few resources that you could fully trust.

But word of mouth and forums at least let some of the truth come out, although it too can be biased.   But, so are the surveys you read.  Seems that builders might give some kind of “extra” service to those they know will be filling out the forms.  Seems Mattamy has been accused of this practice.  Some regret taking the bonus as they find the “extra” service only extends to the time the survey was submitted.

Yes, Customer Service means more than some companies are willing to give.  I notice Mattamy has joined Twitter social media, hoping to pass on their message.  Two way street though – allows the truth to come out.

On my last posting (#600 if you are counting) I basically said that the Town of Oakville and Mattamy were an unbeatable pairing.  One gets the donations and the other gets to illegally wire houses, at least in my case.  My blog has illustrated many other things Mattamy has done in Oakville and elsewhere.

Funny how things that go around come around.  MPP Kevin Flynn was on town council when they threw me under the provincial bus and refused to pass a bylaw intended to protect homeowners from poorly built homes.  You notice that when you buy a house for $250k plus, nothing is said about quality.  They do mention MINIMUM BUILDING CODE, when asked about poor quality.  Building inspectors and builders love that phrase – “it’s to code”.  Quality is not in the code.  Even if it isn’t code, as in my case, the Town of Oakville did nothing but receive donations over the years from Mattamy.  I mentioned MPP Kevin Flynn – it is his political seat that was under the gun in the last election and the Liberals, in their wisdom, cancelled the power plants in Mississauga and Oakville to the tune of over $1 Billion (yes, you heard right, someone got $1 Billion for not doing something) to ensure he got elected..  Again Flynn looked after the “establishment” and not the taxpayer/homeowner.  NIMBYism in Oakville cost the provincial taxpayer $1 Billion plus.  Must be a new record for NIMBYism.  They were concerned about their children’s health but they didn’t give a shit about my children’s health.  But then, I live in the wrong area I guess.

In my last posting, I stated I was going to move on and focus on other matters.  Seems though, that Mattamy wanted the last word.  At the end of this blog are two comments made after I announced my decision to move on.  According to certain records, they both came from Mattamy.  Nice to see someone there reads my stuff.  If so, my regards to Peter Gilgan, loved by all (at least those who see him as a cash cow) and I hope he had a good summer in his palace in Muskoka.

Legal Beagle note:  To the best of my knowledge and based on a reliable source, the comments can be attributed to the electronic system under the control and owned by Mattamy.  If you can prove otherwise, I will certainly remove the posts and make an apology.  I know Mattamy and the Town of Oakville don’t understand A P O L O G Y (read my lips), but I am willing to do these – it’s considered part of being socially responsible.

Remember the show “Dukes of Hazzard”.  Boss Hogg ran the place and Bubba the sheriff did his bidding.  I wonder if it was written with the Town of Oakville in mind.


The first two comments – I’m not sure if this is their Customer Relations office responding to my blog.  If so, I think informing those being shafted to not be a waste of time.  Not bitter either, as I do realize some people have actually lived in a well built Mattamy Home.  Just the rest of us have been shafted at the expense of making Peter Gilgan a billionaire.  Donations have clouded the issue that he is an accountant that looks at the bottom line and your interests are not part of that.

At the end, is another person who received the Mattamy shaft, only proving to the Mattamy poster, I’m not alone.



Ugh…you’re so annoying…get over it already.


Like seriously, dude, you’re wasting your life with all this anger…let it go! Go out there and LIVE instead of writing these pathetic little blog posts that obviously no-one cares about. So you had a bad experience once upon a time…are you gonna let that bitter you forever?


Anonymous (another person)

I too was screwed by Mattamy, until I stood outside their sales office and showed pics of my defects, and called in the fire department for obvious violations. With in 24 hours I had all defects corrected. Gilgan is too big and arrogant for his own boots.

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January 20, 2013

OPTICS – How Mattamy makes a sow’s ear into a silk purse.

Yes….. it’s all in how you spin it.  That’s why successful businesses hire PR firms to look after their image and hire creative people to not build the product but, to make people think they are built well.  Check out the Toronto Star homes section and you will see a plethora of advertising for new home developments, condos and other constructions.  Nice ads meant to drag you over and let the sales people at you.  Mattamy even throws a 2 page spread every Saturday.  They must be doing well or, just making some extra cash using shortcuts and spending it to make you feel you are buying a good product.

It is common knowledge that you never believe the “artist’s” interpretation of a new house or development.  Those full colour renditions are meant to give you an idea of what it could look like but, probably won’t.  You’ll notice these pictures are usually accompanied with some legal small print telling you it is probably a lie and don’t hold the builder to what you see.

When I bought my house, it was but an open field of red clay.  I went to the marked spot for my house and behold – the vista of Lake Ontario was spread before me.  Talk about falling in love with the place.  I knew there would be houses between me and the lake but, I thought I might be able to salvage the view from the bedroom window.  Nothing like waking up in the morning with the wife and enjoying the view – the view of the lake that is.  Sadly to say, it didn’t happen.  No lake view for me but in fairness, Mattamy never promised me a lake view.  Just a nice house and they couldn’t even supply that.

“Naming committee opposes Cityscape as misleading for new development”  reads the headline of the Calgary Herald.  Seems that Mattamy, their Calgary branch, want to name their latest sub-division “Cityscape”.  They feel the name reflects “a view of the urban landscape from a distance defined by the sky, mountains,  buildings and other natural or man-made features that create a pleasant and  memorable vista.”

Excuse me while I gag………

The Calgary naming committee felt that the subdivision was so far away that the name was misleading and would give people the wrong impression.  Don’t forget, like me, the present view on the vacant land does give a rather distant view of the skyline.  Vacant land.  Once the subdivision is built, just how many people will have this view?  Like me, the surrounding development will probably close it off to all but a select few properties.  And, knowing Mattamy, there will be a premium on those lots I don’t doubt.  Hey, Gilgan’s investments are down last year.

What kind of view do they have now.  Here is a picture which Mattamy showed Calgary planning commission.  Based on this, they got to name their new subdivision “Cityscape”.

View before development

View before development

When built, you might get a view of the mountain tops from your 2nd floor bedroom window. Optics.  People will flock to the Mattamy sales shack the night before, if anything like the Oakville sales, and try to get a house based on this view.  I suggest you take a picture before construction, enlarge it and frame it and put it up on your bedroom wall.  That will be about all you will really see. It does give a nice feeling though.  Much like the new Oakville development – “The Preserve”.  Makes you feel all warm and green and fuzzy.  I am sure the only thing preserved there will be the forested valley land and only because you can’t build there.  The old farm house that was to be “preserved”.  Burnt to a crisp and is now a pile of bricks somewhere.  You can phone them but I only got voice mail – no person.  One wonders what happened to the bricks – Gilgan’s driveway up in Muskoka maybe? All that exists of this landmark is a sign.  So much for “preservation”.  They may promise you a rose garden in print but, you could end up with the thorn patch.  Remember: HIRE A HOUSE INSPECTOR TO PROTECT YOURSELF. I met a millionaire a few days ago.  Quite a difference between a millionaire and a billionaire (Gilgan is one).  I noticed he had a high level of ethics and pride in his product.  From talking to him, I suspect he makes sure his products are up to snuff and if not, the customer is looked after.  Not by bully boys like Mattamy.  No, he will make sure the customer is satisfied. Gilgan – he just drove by in his Jaguar (?) and said I wasn’t being nice.  I guess in his world, being nice is shafting a customer and selling a house with illegal wiring that puts the kids at risk.  I guess I was brought up differently.  Probably why I’ll never be a billionaire.

July 22, 2012

Mattamy owner soaks up the sun in Muskoka while some owners are soaked.


I have monitored the “Complaints Board”, a website that allows people to inform the public of issues concerning products/companies.  At this one particular link  you see a string of complaints (Mattamy) that are recent.  They stretch from 2010 to 2012 and it seems within that two-year span, Mattamy hasn’t gotten any better than when they worked on my house.  Matter of fact, some things are very similar.

And, according to this one comment left on one of my blogs by a former employee, we see one aspect of why no change.

“i was one of those employees that got let go. all i have to say is the product is barely screeching by the building code inspections. as in another words built as fast and as cheaply as possible. used to be a outstanding company one i was proud to work for. but in the last 4 years nothing good has came out of the company,. . . “

The comment also mentions something about certain family members running the firm into the ground, but i can’t confirm that at the moment.

The first complaint opens up:

“I would like to warn anyone interested in a Mattamy home in the Half Moon Bay development in Barrhaven, Ottawa that the quality is something to be aware of. I purchased a home in April of 2009 and have been fighting with them for 9 months now to repair the house.” followed by a listing of 13 complaints.

One complaint notes something I experienced:

“the basement stairs were not to code and had to be rebuilt. It is amazing that the city building inpsector could not have caught this. I assume that there must be a cozy relationship between the city of Ottawa and Mattamy.” 

In my case, the Oakville building inspector passed the illegally wired furnace.  Interesting though, in both Ottawa and Oakville, former government officials were hired by Mattamy to assist in running the show.  The guy in Oakville, former head of Halton, had even been arrested once for issues between him and the development trade.

But, not all building inspectors get the GOOD Mattamy treatment, as seen in this next complaint.

“If we would have known that Mattamy was going to build our house so poorly, we would have never bought from them! I’m shocked that they let people move into their new home when it’s done with such POOR workmanship”.

The kicker in this complaint?

“Finally my husband had to take a week off from work to supervise, that was the only way the work got done. He’s a municipal building inspector and it’s extremely frustrating for him to have a home with SO MANY defects.”

Must be one of the building inspectors who doesn’t look after Mattamy.  Seems he got the royal treatment – in a negative way.

Our last complaint seems to say it all in terms of Mattamy – at least for some of us.

We’ve recently moved into our Mattamy home and we’ve been fighting tooth and nail just to get our PDI items cleared. Don’t get me started on our 30 day list!
It’s been nothing but issue after issue and the most frustrating part is that the people that you are told to deal with simply don’t give a sh*t!!!

I guess while the owner, Peter Gilgan, is relaxing up in his mansion in the Muskoka’s, there are people down here and in Ottawa and, etc, who aren’t enjoying their summer.  Too bad we didn’t have his phone number up there and we could let him know just what is happening.  Good CEO’s always want to know how their company is going.  Well, maybe all do.  Seems the two CEO’s at RIM let it slip through their fingers and RIM is bottoming out.  Maybe we can be at his next event but I notice we don’t get any press warnings anymore.  Why is that Peter?  Worried the truth will come out and tarnish your donation time?  Those who trusted the Mattamy name, have a right to a well-built home.  Unless you believe your advertising and don’t really practice it.

See you at the next event Peter.

As an aside, some people will say that there are only 3 complaints.  You will find, if you research further, there are a lot more complaints and, some people just don’t bother to fight the big corporation.  They dump the place and let the next owner deal with it.  If you make a complaint, you are knowledgeable about the problems and therefore must disclose.  No knowledge – no liability.  That is why I have had to spend so much money fixing the issues I have talked about.  Another reason is that Mattamy has been known to use bully boy tactics – I was a victim there and, Gilgan might flex his billionaire status, hire some Bay Street mouthpieces and throw the law suit threat your way.  Now that I am retired, I don’t have to worry about my boss finding out and bending to the will of the billionaire.  I too had a corner office on Bay Street so, I understand the thinking down there.  One thing you will learn if you complain.  The lawyers that your taxes pay for will not work for you but for the politicians who surround Gilgan with accolades and seem to find time to bury reports of a negative nature towards Mattamy.  There never really was a report about Mattamy constructing homes in Milton on land fertilized with human waste.  It was fortunate that a good citizen reported it and demanded they stop.  Officials did that but no record.  The Mayor there accepts money for free busing though.  Thank god some people with cojones stopped Mattamy in Ottawa when the company did illegal  terra-forming.  Nice to see some people are still honest out there.

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May 23, 2012

Muskoka – the place to be with Mattamy’s billions.


Well, I hope you all had a good long weekend and got to relax and enjoy the time off (for the lucky ones) and saw some fabulous Victoria Day fireworks.  I know some went to their cottages (don’t tell me you spent the time cutting grass) while others explored their area and, at least around here, enjoyed the weather.

I just hope not too many spent their whole time doing some house hunting.  Speaking of house hunting, I found this particular blog and found out where Mattamy’s owner puts his feet up and relaxes.  Muskoka of course and I understand it is on the land that once had a place called “Ferndale House” and later the Canadian Keswick Conference Centre, which burned down in 1946.  Yeah, I know, old property burned down. Developers dream but, I won’t say more in case Peter gets the wrong idea.   It is situated on Lake Rosseau and, as you can see by the picture, quite gargantuan.  But of course, so was his old shack on Lake Ontario.  (Edgemere -32,000 sq ft. ?)

What I find interesting are the comments I found on this blog.

“you can not get that size of cottage anymore with the restrictions.  I do believe that this particular place is zoned resort, which is how the size got to be there and the boathouse size.”

The question that comes to mind is, can a person build a structure on land zoned as “resort” but use it as a private cottage?  Are you using loopholes in the law to benefit yourself and not the community?  But then, I guess it is better to have one humongous cottage there than a bunch of smaller condos – kind of like what Edgemere became.  Watch out Muskoka when he sells.  You might just get a bunch of condo shacks there.

“Yes it is registered as a resort so peter gilgan can bring his friends up!

There are always wild parties in the boathouse making noise around the lake.  Oh well, big money partys big.”

Wild parties with Gilgan?  Doesn’t sound like the billionaire that donates millions to various charities, wins a plethora of ego stroking awards and, puts children’s lives at risk with illegal wiring.  Sounds more like trailer trash from old Regent Park but, we know Muskoka wouldn’t let that kind in.  But then, as we know, money talks.  Right Wellspring?

For those who enjoyed the weekend with a cold beer and weenies on the BBQ while sitting on your postage stamp Mattamy lot wondering what else will go wrong in your home, you can rest assured that the hard working Mattamy owner was able to relax up in Muskoka using the money he made on your house.  Some maybe even from shortcuts that I know I suffered from.

I’ll wave at you Peter next time I paddle by your cottage (resort?).  That is, if the Muskoka police will let me in.

I like the name on your cottage Peter – “Ferndale”.  I’m putting up a plaque calling mine “Gilgan’s Folly”.

P.S.  I had some pints of Guinness at the pub with some boys from Ireland (Belfast) and I had to apologize for my last blog.  Seems that they were offended that I dare compare the quality of the Titanic with a Mattamy Home and, they are in the trades.  Sorry guys.

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June 25, 2010

Britney Spears and Mattamy – both have a good side and a bad side


Well, you’re coming up to the weekend and you’ll either be relaxing over a nice BBQ in the back yard or maybe going north to some northern shangri-la on a beautiful lake or, just faking it at the G20 in a Muskoka chair overlooking a lovely fake lake.  But, I am sure some of you, especially if the weather is good, will be out looking at the house models and determining if this is the weekend you make the plunge into homeownership for the either the first or multiple time.

By the way, you might want to mention my blog at the Mattamy sales office – see what they say.  And then ask them if everything is true.  I’d be interested in knowing the answer as all my stuff is backed up with fact.  Are they in terms of quality, which is never mentioned in their ads?


Don’t be overawed by the models.  Lets face it – they are built to draw you like flies to honey and they will be built to perfection.  Unlike that reality show you fall into once you sign on the dotted line.  Don’t rush it.  Use the built-in time deadlines to get legal advice and hopefully you’ve done your internet research and know what to expect and look for.

If you visit this article here you will see what I mean about “before and after” and” model homes and reality built”.  The before and after photos of Britney Spears kind of shows just how things can be made to look what they aren’t.

For those wondering, the air-brushing occurred on the left picture.

Well, Mattamy has been known to do things in their model homes that just doesn’t pan out in the house you eventually get and that is why it is imperative that you put a house inspector in your house buying tool kit.

You know why I recommend it – now here is why someone else recommends it.

“just wanted to let you all know. I did an inspection yesterday, and am glad we did. I recommend getting one if you can.

Found out we have a hole in our roof, some bad shingles, some issues with the eavestroughs, no caulking on the heartypanel stuff. and no fire stopper barriers in the basement .

Soo glad we had him come in, I recommend getting one, cause your house might look purdy, but to the standard eye this isn’t stuff you would see.”

Do any of you feel qualified to scout out these problems while on a walk-through of the house – all glassy-eyed and in awe of your new purchase.  I’d say a bare minimum could do it properly while also talking to your spouse, having the Mattamy inspection person taking you where they want and giving you some professional bullshit.

A builder like Mattamy, run by an accountant, is there to make a profit.  How else do you think he paid for a house he once owned that originally was evaluated at $45 million.  Either a lot of homes sold with a large profit margin or, good cost savings that made better profit margin.  Either way, it was YOUR money that made him a billionaire.  Fixing problems only decreases him back to millionaire status.

Learn from others and demand a house inspector.  Me, I’d ask to have it put in the purchase agreement to ensure no problems down the road. 

Let them know – they will be held to the standards they advertise and put in a model home. 

Remember, you can fantasize about the Britney Spears on the left or live with the one on the right. 

Both look nice but one is better.

P.S.  Sorry for the cheesecake but since Mattamy believes in cutsey to sell (children hunting tadpoles), I thought I’d use a little advertising licence to prove my point.  At least mine shows to be true in the photo – or does it.  Could have been done by a Mattamy advertiser who never talks quality.

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September 7, 2009

Muskoka – Buy Mattamy and have it in your basement.


Weekend centre foldout in the Toronto Star from Mattamy Homes declared: “The Last Long Weekend Of Summer Would Last A Lot Longer If You Lived Here.” They go on to state there’s nothing like Muskoka. Well, they are right, with Mattamy you get to keep a little bit of Muskoka all year round right in your basement.

According to the Bracebridge Examiner, a couple who had an old Mattamy decided to move there and relied on the reputation of Mattamy when buying their new house (sound familiar?). Well, they and others found they will enjoy the outdoors of Muskoka in their basement due to the flooding, some on the same day they moved in.  And I’ve read nothing since to show what has happened in this case.  I guess Mattamy is now trying to flog these houses, thinking people will have forgotton minor details like flooded basements.

Ah yes, all that natural beauty of Muskoka contained right there in your own house.  Hey, but what’s a flooded basement amongst friends?

What’s that you say? Appears that the O’Briens are also suffering from the quality of the dry walling, concrete, cabinetry, carpeting and painting.  Hmm, sounds familiar as well.

Here’s a former Mattamy House owner who bought on perceived quality of their first Mattamy Home.  And, a lot of others in that subdivision have suffered as well.  What does that tell you?

For the sake of less than a $1000, you should hire a house inspector, unless you kind of like the idea of a piece of Muskoka in your basement or the fact that your house is starting out as sub-standard in quality.  Hey, its your investment – either protect it or live with the consequences. 

As I know, Mattamy will do anything, up to and including breaking the law (code), to put a sale through.

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November 17, 2008

Mattamy Homes – can they follow the Muskoka Builder’s Assoc. Code of Ethics?



The recent furor in Bracebridge over Mattamy Homes and the problems the new owners are having got me to thinking about the lack of ethics that Mattamy Homes has shown in the past.  The Bracebridge fiasco was only one issue that shows Mattamy Homes does not always follow an ethical path of business.  I had assumed that Mattamy Homes would have been a member of the Muskoka Builder’s Association since they were doing business in Bracebridge.  A look at the Muskoka Builder’s Association website did not show Mattamy Homes as a member, which could of course only mean the website hasn’t been updated.


Or, maybe because Mattamy Homes would be in contravention of the Code of Ethics, which is re-printed in its entirety at the end.


Here are some areas that Mattamy Homes has, in the past, shown itself to be wanting.



1:         Members shall comply with the Ontario Building Code and the National Building Code of Canada and/or all additional recognized standards applicable to the individual member as a minimum standard for that member’s services and shall work towards industry improvement in the interests of sufficiency, safety and health.


            In my case, Mattamy Homes allowed the furnace to be illegally (code) wired in order for it to be passed by the Town of Oakville.  The Director is on record stating that he would not have given the house an “occupancy permit” under such conditions.  As well, it put the members of the family at risk due to a potential fire and electric shock hazard – something they seem to brush off as the price of doing business.


2:         Members shall perform their services to conform to the principles of good community development.


            The charge of illegal dumping in Ottawa shows someone who can’t follow this principle.


3:         Members shall be fair and honest with their customers, employees, sub-contractors and suppliers in the interests of sufficiency, safety and health.


            Seems to follow along with number one here.  As well, Mattamy Homes is charged in Ottawa with doing illegal dumping and, as well, in Ottawa, they sold homes before getting the permits to proceed.  Obviously not following this code of ethics.


3:         Members shall avoid advertising which tends to mislead customers, deprecate competitors, or generally bring the reputation of the industry into disrepute.


            Paul Langan has lodged a complaint with the Competition Bureau under Section 52 of the Competition Act regarding advertising that Mattamy Homes has used in the Cambridge area.  Although the complaint has not been finalized, the fact that charges have been laid shows that something was misleading to someone.


4:         Members shall perform and co-operate in the completion of their services in a manner which demonstrates the utmost competence.


            In Bracebridge, the list of complaints in the Bracebridge Examiner article certainly raises some doubt as to whether or not Mattamy Homes would be in compliance with this one.  From my complaint and the complaint of others, it is obvious that Mattamy Homes has a history of non-compliance.


5:         Members shall avoid all conduct or practice detrimental to the house building industry, to the Association, to the good name or reputation of any of its members, or to customers.


            I think from my above comments, I need not enlarge on this.  Suffice to say, Mattamy isn’t doing that well in terms of being able to comply with the Muskoka Builder’s Association Code of Ethics. 


Is that why they are not listed on the website?






To be the voice of the

Residential Construction Industry in Muskoka



Members shall comply with the Ontario Building Code and the National Building Code of Canada and/or all additional recognized standards applicable to the individual member as a minimum standard for that member’s services and shall work towards industry improvement in the interests of sufficiency, safety and health.


Members shall perform their services to conform to the principles of good community development.


Members shall be fair and honest with their customers, employees, sub-contractors and suppliers in the interests of sufficiency, safety and health.


Members shall co-operate, interchange information and experience, and encourage research on

materials and techniques in order to provide the best value for their customers.


Members shall uphold the principle of reasonable and adequate compensation for the services which they render.


Members shall avoid advertising which tends to mislead customers, deprecate competitors, or generally bring the reputation of the industry into disrepute.


Members shall display and encourage a sense of pride in belong to the Muskoka Builders’ Association.


Members shall perform and co-operate in the completion of their services in a manner which

demonstrates the utmost competence.


Members shall actively encourage fellow members to uphold the professional image and reputation of the Muskoka Builders’ Association.


Members shall avoid all conduct or practice detrimental to the house building industry, to the Association, to the good name or reputation of any of its members, or to customers.


These responsibilities are freely and solemnly assumed and form part of an obligation as members of the Muskoka

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