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Governor’s Green apartment complex bans newspaper from its premises

A Dundas apartment building owner has been told to repair or close fireplaces and chimneys at a Governor’s Road townhouse complex.

Meanwhile, Amelin Property Management has also banned the Dundas Star News from its building at 101 Governor’s Rd., after the newspaper published two stories the company described as “biased” against building management.

Chief fire prevention officer Jim Winn said a second inspection of Amelin townhouses at 131 to 181 Governor’s Rd. found deficient fireplaces, chimneys and pipes in all units.

“Various deficiencies noted were a warped interior lining, inadequate chimney clearances, inadequate chimney heights, drywall overlaps on fireplace fronts and the like,” Winn stated in an email.

The fire service followed up on a complaint with a preliminary inspection and ordered the company to inspect the townhouse chimneys, flues and flue pipes every 12 months, repair and replace chimneys and pipes where necessary and clean all chimneys and pipes “as often as necessary to keep them free from accumulations of combustible deposits –all as required by the Ontario Fire Code,” according to Winn.

A followup inspection was completed before the end of March and resulted in the direction to close and cap the deficient features.

Robert Holzberg, area manager for Toronto- based Amelin Property Management, told the Dundas Star News the fireplaces are outdated and will be closed by the end of April.

Holzberg said he personally cancelled delivery of the Dundas Star News to the Governor’s Green apartment building because he considers the newspaper’s reporting of two police investigations and a Landlord Tenant Board review of tenant complaints as biased against the building’s management.

The Dundas Star News has published two stories about investigations involving Governor’s Green in the past two years, both based on information provided by Hamilton Police and Landlord Tenant Board staff who confirmed ongoing investigations or review of complaints.

“There is no finer apartment building in the entire area,” Holzberg said. “The record speaks for itself.”

According to City of Hamilton property standards file on 101 Governor’s Rd., a total of seven property standards complaints were received in 2008, and six complaints were received in 2009. One order to comply was issued by the city to the owner of Governor’s Green each year. The 2008 order to fix a leaking roof was one of only seven issued in the entire city that year, while last year’s was one of 16 across the city. In 2006, an order to comply was issued for repairs to balconies.

Property standards staff achieved compliance in most cases after visiting the landlord.

Hamilton police senior support officer Ian Fotheringham began investigating complaints of seniors abuse at Governor’s Green in October.

At the time, Fotheringham said the matter would involve a “long term investigation” and required follow-up interviews with several tenants.

Dave Grech, co-ordinator of investigations at Ontario’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, said he is waiting to hear whether the Governor’s Green tenants association has filed a complaint with the Landlord and Tenant Board before moving forward with his investigation of complaints he received from tenants late last year.

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