English Articles

Truculent, Cowboy Defiance
vs Correct, Legal Process

TORONTO – The Toronto Preservation Board (TPB) has the role of keeping elected municipal council “informed” on community “values” (heritage, historical, etc.), defined in legislation and by-laws, relative to properties which may receive application for development. It met for a second time in a week, on October 16, at Etobicoke York Community Council on issues related to 3100 Weston Rd.

The meeting was/is as much about process as it may be about substance. As in the first meeting on October 12, over 50 intervenors registered written submissions on the matter. Twelve contributed orally – live or via video/phone.

Community members familiar with the site offered professional, thoughtful perceptions on the “uses”, historical and recent, of the property. Their testimony focused on what “benefits accrue to proprietorship”. The incendiary intervention by self-declared, new, “part owner” actually prompted consideration of issues related to the legalities surrounding the “purchase and sale” agreement.

All we know, so far, from Municipal records, is that the site’s “proprietorship” was transferred from one numbered company to a second numbered company for $16.5 million (69% of the MPAC-assessed price). The SOLD sign (seen picture below) identified Signature Realty as the brokerage firm in the Royal Le Page group responsible for the listing and sale.

The “sold” sign in the Sanctuary area: note the lack of registration of the company in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and of the name of the real estate agent

An individual, Karin Bess, allegedly a licensed Realtor at that brokerage, caused her name to be added to the list of intervenors at the first TPB meeting. She did not appear. Nor is her name on the sign as required by Real Estate Board by laws.

The brokerage firm has the name listed on its roster of agents but, upon checking, could not find her in any company records. Moreover, the company could not find any record of the listing or sale of 3100 Weston Rd.

Someone who did intervene in the first meeting has been working with a different Real Estate firm but was also listed as a Manager of Customer Experience at TD Bank Group. He was not available for comment when Corriere reached out to him.

Lawyers for the “new owner”, Miller Thompson, caused a mortgage of $12.5 million (75.7% of the total sale), at an annual rate of 11.5%, to be listed on the transfer document as part of the $16.5million “purchase price”. No surety, lien or survey are listed on the assignment. The numbered company providing the mortgage lists a UPS P.O. box number as its address, yet it claims to manage assets in the multiple hundreds of millions.

Neither the lawyers for the “part owner”, who has moved into the mansion/monastery at 3100 Weston Rd., nor the legal counsel for the lenders have returned email messages or phone calls from Corriere eliciting comment.

The Leasehold rights of the rentable portion of the site, occupied by the City of Toronto as primary tenant, paying some $866,735.00 annually, plus value of imputed municipal taxes, were also transferred to yet a fourth numbered company. It is unclear whether lawyers for the City “ran a check” on the new landlords.

Several delegations to the committee, familiar with the process and substance of transactions involving properties in general and those of a “heritage” nature more specifically, suggested the entire transaction “disrespected the City and the community”.

Given the context of entire meeting – due process in the sale and purchase of property with potential Heritage implications – one could be forgiven for inferring that the rules may not have been followed in this case.

Sam Babs, the new “part owner/landlord”, most recently from England, used his time before the TPB to impugn the legal and political motivations of Councillor Anthony Perruzza – and the entire Council for good measure – cancelled that Lease on the spot! The total value for that item comes to about $866,735.00 annually.

It seems to be his modus operandi. A proposal he “fronted” before Meaford Municipal Council, Northwest of Wasaga Beach, in Septembers of 2022 is allegedly fraught with examples of non-conformity to community rules and standards.

(More to come)

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