April 30, 2014 6:40 pm

Ajax property dispute leads to wall being torn down

Correction (June 03): In the video above, the retaining wall between the two houses is incorrectly said to be made of concrete, when in fact it was made of wood. Global News regrets the error. 

TORONTO – The retaining wall between James Agostino’s property and the one next door had been there since the homes were built in 1985. As of two days ago, it’s gone.

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An ongoing dispute between Agostino and his Ajax neighbour on Lake Driveway West led to contractors showing up early Monday morning with power tools in hand. Before he knew it, the wall was coming down and there was nothing he could do to stop it from happening.

“It is supposed to rain for the next five days,” the 66-year old retiree says. “My back yard is collapsing and I feel lost as to what to do.”

The property is at a higher elevation than the one along side it and the wall was put in place by the builder nearly thirty years ago to keep both back yards level.

Neighbour Michael Nash moved in about 10 years ago and has raised issues about the wall being on his side of the property line. “It’s there illegally on my property,” he says. “As per Ajax bylaw, I’m responsible for repair for something I didn’t buy.”

The plan is to put up a regular wooden fence in it’s place.

“When you’re looking at the removal or the addition of a retaining wall, which is less than a metre in height and it does not abut public space, there’s no permit requirement,” says Sharon Williamson, a Municipal Law Enforcement Officer with the Town of Ajax.

Agostino has been told the matter is a civil issue and has since contacted a lawyer.

Meanwhile, he believes his land is beginning to collapse and he’s worried it is becoming a safety hazard. “The deck could be separating away. I’ve got a pool that could be separating away,” he says. “There’s a lot of stress on the property that could be shifting.”

There’s no sign of movement just yet. Either with the dirt or the lines being drawn in the sand by both neighbours.

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