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Ontario homeowner wins battle to keep coffin flowerbeds despite complaint by neighbour

St. Catharines resident Christina Calbury and boyfriend sitting with a coffin flowerbed she will now be allowed to keep in her front yard. Christina Calbury

A St. Catharines, Ont. homeowner is being allowed to keep her front and backyard coffin flowerbeds despite a complaint made by another city resident.

Horror fan Christina Calbury, whose favorite genre is the classic Universal Studios monsters like the Creature from the Black Lagoon, says the coffins were purchased online last month through Facebook Marketplace.

“I showed my boyfriend and he’s like, ‘oh, that’s pretty cool,’ said Calbury describing the purchase of their first coffin for $200.

“He’s like, ‘What would you want to do with it?’ and I was like, ‘Make it into a flowerbed.’

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Calbury said generally reaction from neighbours was positive after displaying the unique gardening for the first time last month.

However, earlier this week Calbury received a letter from the city ordering her to remove the pieces since they allegedly violated bylaw no. 2020-106 which prohibits “the use of certain lands for the disposal of waste.”

The complaint was made by a neighbour, according to the horror buff.

“So the letter was basically just saying that I’m infringing on the waste bylaw and that the complaint was made on July 5, ” Calbury told Global News.

Read more: Large fire in downtown St. Catharines damages former Welland House Hotel

“I had until July 19 to remove both coffins, not the one on the front lawn specifically, but both even the one in my backyard.”

Calbury’s first instinct was to fight the accusation saying it “definitely isn’t right.”

“I said there’s absolutely no way someone can tell me what I can do on my property when we keep our property immaculate,” Calbury said.

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After calls to the city, her local MPP and the mayor as well as starting a change.org petition, she was given a call on Wednesday from the city of St. Catharines giving her the all-clear to keep the coffins.

“They called me yesterday at 3:30 saying that they’re dropping it and they’re not pursuing it any further,” said Calbury.

Scott Rosts, a communications officer with the city of St. Catharines, confirmed to Global News that the city has abandoned any further action in response to the complaint.

“While the City of St. Catharines does not discuss the specific details of ongoing bylaw enforcement matters, the city can confirm that upon further review by bylaw this file has been closed and no further action will be taken,’ Rosts said.

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