New Condominium: When you don’t get what you were promised
Or Led to Believe
Wendy Ji, purchased a condominium unit Emerald City Condominiums at Don Mills Road and Sheppard Avenue in 2010 for $460,000.00. One of the reasons she bought from this development was the advertised “easy underground access” to the Sheppard subway line and the proximity to Fairview Mall. This was advertized in the sales brochures. Ms. Ji believed that she would be able to access the subway through the condominium itself, without having to go outside. A promotional video for the project showed a subway train pulling into a station with stairs marked Emerald City.
Ms. Ji along with some 60 other residents have commenced a class action lawsuit against the development seeking a 10-15% rebate, saying the lack of direct subway access has devalued their units.
The only way she could get access to the Don Mills Subway station was by walking outside across Sheppard Avenue or through the TTC pathways that ended in outdoor mall parking lots.
As almost all contracts for new constuction, the agreement of purchase and sale contained the usual clauses stating that the builder chan change the plans and specifications of the building at its sole discretion or as required by the government, as long as it is not a materal change. This would include anythign that is promised in the sales brochure.
As noted in a Toronto Star Article by Susan Pigg, the lawyer for condo developer Elad disputes the claim saying, “there was never any representation that there would be underground access” from the condo building to the subway or directly to Fairview Mall: Both are easy to reach by walking out the lobby doors and six metres to the subway entrance right out front.
“The station isn’t far. It’s not going to kill me to walk there. But it’s the failure of the promise and the fact we paid a premium for that building because it was supposed to have underground access… Most people would just accept it and keep complaining, but this just pushed my buttons and, I thought, we have to speak up for ourselves.” said Ji in an interview with the Star.