By Brian Madigan LL.B.
So, what do you think about the garden on Mississauga Road? Is it worth saving?
Most rational people would think so. But, there are some bureaucrats who think otherwise! And, like most bureaucrats you might inquire what have they been doing for the last 30 years or so. Nothing! Absolutely nothing!
What's the big rush? Well, a local neighbour got jealous and complained, and of course that started the ball rolling.
Frank and Carmela Loconte have lived on Shawanaga Trail for over 30 years. The southerly boundary of their property runs along Mississauga Road. The Locontes are legally bound by the municipality to maintain a strip of property between their property and the paved portion of Mississauga Road. It's the boulevard. The same rules apply to just about all the homeowners in Mississauga: maintain the boulevard.
What did they do? The Lacontes maintained the boulevard. It came with grass, but being avid gardeners and naturalists, they planted beautiful flowers, plants and grasses. This cost thousands and thousands of dollars. It would cost a small fortune to hire someone to plant and maintain such a beautiful garden over all these years. The Lacontes did this for free. Their time was donated and they paid all the expenses. For three full decades this little garden on Mississauga Road was a sight for everyone to enjoy.
Just in case you are wondering about ulterior motives and squatters' rights, they don't apply. The property is owned by the City of Mississauga and continues to remain property of the City of Mississauga. The Lacontes do not acquire any ownership or possessory interest in the property. They are just doing it for the love of the garden and the City. Over such a long period, they literally have had thousands of compliments and best wishes about this little garden.
So, what's the problem? A jealous neighbour, called Mr. Scrooge wants it to come to an end. You can't just say that out loud, people would think you were crazy. So, you raise a safety issue. You say that you can't see around the corner. This garden blocks the view of oncoming traffic. And, naturally, you don't have enough smarts to pull your vehicle forward a few inches.
However, in came the "good guys" to investigate and resolve this treacherous safety concern in Mississauga. Actually, it turns out that Bell Canada had upright metal boxes to conceal some of their switching equipment. To protect the public from such an unsightly metal box in the middle of the garden, the Lacontes planted a cedar bush to camouflage the Bell apparatus. At, the request of the City, the cedar was removed and the real safety culprit: the metal box from Bell was exposed.
Now, if you are Mr. Scrooge, you will not be satisfied with this. You will want to press on and ensure that everyone is as unhappy and miserable as you.
Brian Madigan LL.B., Realtor is an author and commentator on real estate matters, Royal LePage Innovators Realty