Toronto man in a turf war with city after neighbour files complaint over synthetic grass
The grass in front of Frank Leone’s home has created a turf war with Toronto city hall.
"I cannot look after the real grass," he said in an interview with CTV News Toronto.
Leone said he installed synthetic grass because he is in his 80s, he's suffered a stroke, and has limited mobility – but the city is taking him to court.
"Even if I am handicapped, they don't care," he said.
Shortly after Leone's turf was installed, an anonymous complaint was filed by a neighbour, and Leone got a notice from the city.
“It’s just the fact that artificial turf is not listed as an approved material for soft landscaping. It’s not prohibited, it’s just not explicitly permitted,” former city councillor Karen Stintz told CTV News Toronto.
Stintz has been helping Leone, who called a bylaw officer to inspect the lawn. The bylaw officer gave approval last October.
“The enforcement bylaw officer told me, that the grass is permeable. Therefore, you're not breaking the law," Leone said.
After Leone got the approval in writing, he thought it was over. But, just a month later, a City building inspector said the lawn is not permeable, which means water cannot pass through.
Now, Leone faces a charge for failure to comply with an order, despite the previous approval from a bylaw officer.
"Somehow, this information was ignored," he said.
Leone went to court on Tuesday, and has another date set for March 14. Stintz says he is now caught in a jurisdictional issue within the city.
"Unfortunately for Frank, he's now being served with additional notices of violation, including fines, if he doesn't replace his grass within the next 30 days. Which is ridiculous because we're in the middle of February," she says.
According to the city’s bylaw for residential buildings, a minimum of 75 per cent of a property’s front yard must be soft landscaping. The city defines soft landscaping as "an open unobstructed area that supports the growth of vegetation such as grass, trees, shrubs, flowers, or other plants and that permits water infiltration into the ground."
Leone says he was told the primary issue with his artificial lawn was the lack of water flow, even though the turf has several holes allowing water to flow through easily.
Despite the confusion, Stintz says there should be a very simple solution to this problem. She said the bylaw should be amended to include synthetic turf, so that a mixup like this doesn't happen again.
“I heard about this case, and based on the limited information I have, I am baffled by it,” a statement from Mayor John Tory’s office said. “I want to be clear that I don’t think the fate of our city rises and falls on whether senior citizens in North York have artificial turf on their property – especially if another City representative told him it was OK at one point.”
He said that the city manager is aware, and that the mayor and council don't enforce or interfere in court matters. He is hopeful for a resolution.
Toronto Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
'I'm a Canadian': MP named in foreign interference report speaks out, refutes claims
The Liberal MP who allegedly benefitted from Chinese election interference is speaking out against the report, categorically stating the foreign government did not help him in his nomination campaign.
Uber says Ottawa has the worst passengers in Canada
According to new data released by Uber on Tuesday, Ottawa has the worst average rider rating in the country, followed by Toronto and Montreal.
So many doctors are being driven away by Idaho abortion ban that this hospital can’t deliver babies anymore
An Idaho hospital has announced that it will no longer be able to deliver babies because the state’s near-total abortion ban — one of the most extreme in the U.S. — has driven so many doctors away.
China calls Xi's Russia visit one of friendship, peace, cooperation
China on Wednesday said President Xi Jinping's just-concluded visit to Russia was a 'journey of friendship, cooperation and peace,' and again criticized Washington for providing military support to Ukraine.
Sotheby's hopes for record sale of ancient Hebrew Bible
One of the oldest surviving biblical manuscripts, a nearly complete 1,100-year-old Hebrew Bible, could soon be yours -- for a cool US$30 million.
'A very, very difficult odour': Senate adjourns early after foul smell in the building disrupts proceedings
The Senate adjourned early on Tuesday afternoon after a foul smell in the building caused headaches in the chamber and disrupted proceedings.
Nordstrom liquidation sales underwhelm Canadians as most items marked down 5 per cent
The first day of Nordstrom's liquidation sale began on Tuesday, but some shoppers walked away underwhelmed, as most items were only marked down five per cent.
Don't assume U.S. minds are made up about Safe Third Country treaty: Canada's envoy
President Joe Biden's administration is not dismissing out of hand the idea of renegotiating the bilateral 2004 treaty that governs the flow of asylum seekers across its northern border, says Canada's ambassador to the U.S.
Researchers have created a way to cloak artwork so that it can’t be used to train AI
Researchers at the University of Chicago have made a tool called Glaze which, once applied to a piece of artwork, means that artwork can’t be read and reproduced by AI tools that scrape art online to replicate their style.
Second body recovered from Old Montreal building destroyed by fire
Montreal police confirmed Tuesday evening that a second body has been recovered from the building in Old Montreal that was destroyed by a fire last week.
Quebec budget 2023-2024: Here are the highlights
Here are the highlights of the Quebec budget.
'Bricks versus bodies': Father agonizes over pace of recovery efforts in old Montreal fire
As the search for victims of a five-alarm fire in Old Montreal stretched into its fifth day on Tuesday, friends and family members are getting frustrated with the pace of the investigation and lack of answers.
More photos released of person wanted in relation to random stabbing
London police have released more photos of a man wanted in connection to a random stabbing. The suspect is described as a dark-skinned man, waring a black hat, dark sweater or coat, tight dark-coloured jeans, black boots and a white medical mask.
Council committee extends possible lifeline to Thames Pool
London, Ont. city councillors want more information and more opportunities for public input before making a final decision about the future of Thames Pool.
Bright billboards causing driver headaches and safety concerns
Some drivers in London, Ont.’s west end are raising concerns about a pair of shining digital billboards recently installed on a rail overpass.
'I was so concerned': Officer who fatally shot Beau Baker testifies at inquest
The second day of the inquest into a fatal police shooting saw a number of people who knew 20-year-old Beau Baker leading up to his death testify, including with the police officer who shot him.
Plan to demolish affordable units for funeral home expansion draws criticism
One Kitchener city councillor described a decision from Tuesday night’s meeting as one of the hardest he has had to make in his 12 years at city hall.
Two officers injured, 232 charges laid by WRPS during Waterloo St. Patrick’s Day weekend
The Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) says its officers laid 232 charges and arrested 18 people in connection to the large St. Patrick’s Day street party in Waterloo’s university district.
Worst place in Canada for bed bugs has been revealed
A Canadian city has just been named the worst in the country for bed bugs for the third year in a row.
Ontario's summer forecast has been revealed. What to expect from June to September
The Farmers' Almanac has released its 2023 summer forecast, and, according to the long-range forecaster, Ontario could be in for some 'hot and soggy' summer months.
VIDEO | Doug Ford sports new look after miscommunication with barber at Walmart
Doug Ford said a misunderstanding with a barber led to the shortest haircut he's ever had.
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | Here are the road closures to expect when U.S. President Biden visits Ottawa
The city of Ottawa has released its list of road closures for the presidential motorcade and visit, starting Thursday when Biden arrives and ending Friday night after his departure.
Via Rail apologizes after Muslim man told not to pray at Ottawa train station
Via Rail is apologizing after a Muslim man was told he couldn't pray at the Ottawa train station.
Nasty smell in Senate chambers causes early adjournment
A pungent odour prompted a sitting of Canadian Senators to adjourn early Tuesday afternoon.
Public board condemns all use of ‘N-word’
The Greater Essex County School Board (GECDSB) has drafted a directive to staff and issued a letter to families aimed at curbing racism, harassment and bullying in school.
Is Windsor ready for spirits on grocery store shelves? Council says yes
Windsor city council is supporting a proposed pilot project to have some spirits available in grocery stores, after Spirits Canada president and CEO Jan Westcott contacted Mayor Drew Dilkens with the idea.
Property owners protest Windsor’s rental licencing pilot project
About 100 people were outside city hall Tuesday, protesting the city’s new residential rental licencing by-law.
Police spark debate after demanding breathalyzer at Barrie, Ont. man's home after traffic complaint
Police in Barrie sparked controversy after a video posted to social media showed officers arriving at a man's door to administer a breathalyzer test following a complaint about suspected impaired driving.
Ontario government questioned on Stevenson Memorial Hospital nurse layoffs
The stresses facing Stevenson Memorial Hospital were at the forefront of debate at Queen's Park Tuesday as the official opposition questioned the government's decision to allow the layoffs of over a dozen nurses.
Wasaga Beach takes stand against cyberbullying with powerful presentation
The Town of Wasaga Beach is taking a stand against cyberbullying by declaring Online Safety and Wellness Week this week with powerful presentations by a mother whose daughter made international news after taking her own life in 2012.
Student charged with attempted murder in stabbings at Halifax-area high school
A 15-year-old is facing a number of charges, including attempted murder, after two staff members were stabbed at a high school in Bedford, N.S., Monday morning.
Transportation Safety Board to report on 2020 scallop vessel sinking off Nova Scotia
The Transportation Board of Canada is to release a report Wednesday on its investigation into the sinking of a scallop dragger off Nova Scotia more than two years ago.
Comments on trans rights, COVID vaccines catching up with P.E.I. Tories in campaign
Controversial comments and social media activity from some P.E.I. Progressive Conservative candidates, including leader Dennis King, caught up with the Tories on the election trail this week, turning up the heat in what has been an otherwise quiet campaign.
Calgary doctor performs spine surgery on conscious patient
Last month, Dr. Michael Yang, a spine surgeon at Foothills Medical Centre, performed a discectomy to remove the damaged part of a herniated disc in the spine, on a patient who was wide awake.
Protest takes fight over Calgary school's name to the school board's steps
Students and community members will gather in protest outside the Calgary Board of Education Centre Tuesday morning, calling for the removal of the Sir John A. Macdonald name from a northwest junior high school.
City of Calgary seeing three times as many potholes this year
The City of Calgary says potholes are everywhere and crews are busy trying to keep up with demand to fill them.
'Full, full, full': parents left frustrated over lack of swimming lesson spots
Frustrated and left with few options – that's how many Winnipeg parents were feeling Tuesday after they couldn't get their kids into swimming lessons.
'Everything was lost': Manitoba business owner victim of Instagram hack
A Winnipeg business owner is reminding others to be careful online after her social media accounts were hacked over the weekend.
Nurses working in sexual assault program have resigned
Several nurses working in a department at a Winnipeg hospital that provides examinations for victims of sexual assault have resigned for their positions, leaving the department short-staffed.
Facebook Marketplace scammer asking for deposits, taking off with the cash, Vancouver business owner warns
The owner of a vintage furniture store in Vancouver’s Chinatown is warning about a Facebook Marketplace scammer who’s asking buyers for deposits and taking off with the cash.
‘It felt so surreal’: 18-year-old speaks out after being kicked out of SZA concert in Vancouver
An 18-year-old who got kicked out of the SZA concert in Vancouver on Sunday is pushing back against claims by Rogers Arena that he was removed after being repeatedly asked to stop dancing in the aisles.
Fears that 'foreign interference' investigations could stoke anti-Asian sentiment
Concerns are being raised that a probe into potential interference by China in Canadian elections could lead to more anti-Asian racism.
Latest Lucy examination reveals a uterine tumour, fails to explain breathing issue or unanimously advise relocation
Edmonton Valley Zoo is making improvements to Lucy the elephant's enclosure and routine to accommodate her for the long term after international experts did not agree she was fit to be relocated.
Local first responder using art as therapy creates portraits of fallen EPS officers
A Spruce Grove first responder artist created a series of portraits in memory of the pair of Edmonton Police Service constables killed in the line of duty last week.
'Best week of my life': Why new Oiler Nick Bjugstad loves Edmonton and its gigantic mall so much
Hockey, snow and big shopping malls are some of his favourite things so Nick Bjugstad was gushing Tuesday when talking about his new home in the Alberta capital.