- by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

There are a lot of things that stall or stop renovation and building in our city: financing, change of ownership, bankruptcy, zoning, labour or material availability - and sometimes, lawsuits. Here are three projects that may have been impacted by any of the former list but have been brought to a complete stop by the latter.

95 99210thStEAccording to an article in the Sun Times by Denis Langlois in November 2021,  "SONIK Inc, owners of 994 1st Ave. E., filed a statement of claim November. 12 at Superior Court in Owen Sound against the city and Looby Builders. The corporation is seeking $1 million in damages and an order directing the city to issue all necessary permits to allow SONIK to demolish its building, adjacent to the bridge, and erect a new one."

The bulding immediately adjacent to the bridge, 95-99 10th St E. was purchased by the city in 2018 and demolished to expedite the re-building of the bridge along 10th Street. The exposed side of 994 1st Avenue E was protected with orange construction tarp for months.


The east side entrance has been blocked with fencing for years and is posted with an "Order to Remediate Unsafe Building" dated April 17, 2020 and citing contravention 9941staveeof Building Code Act 15.9. The order is issued to the City, SONIK and Looby Builders  (the bridge construction firm).  It oddly states that compliance is required by September 27, 2018.

We presume that lawyers and insurance companies and lawyers for the insurance companies of the three parties are still working this one out.

The Legate Building, across 8th Street from Owen Sound city hall, is on the site of one of the first commercial buildings in the city.  Since the family closed its furniture business there in 2015, the building has been vacant. According to the latest MPAC property tax assessment role,  made public in December 2022, the building belongs to SMB Inc., headquartered on Whitby Shores Greenway in Whitby, Ontario.


We have written many articles and published lettters (linked below) about the deteriorating state of the building,  and we know our readers have contacted the City staff legateapril2023and their elected representatives about their concerns.

As we understand it, the owner has received notices of by-law infractions, These can result in work orders or fines which can be added to property-owners' tax bills. We also understand that the property is currently the subject of one or more legal actions. No further work has been done  on the exterior or visible interior of the building for many months.

 April 2023. April 2023  March 2023 

July 2022  

October 2018
January 2018

geogianlandingsignThe third building that has been on our radar does not even really qualify for the name.  Georgian Landing was to open with 41 luxury rental units in the fall of 2019.  Construction began early that year, but quickly stalled. Twice the Owen Sound council gave extensions to the development charge "holiday" that had been given to Burlington-based property owner Giorgio Heidary, but those deadlines have long since passed.

In an article this June 15th we reviewed all the correspondence we had with Mr. Heidary from 2019 to 2022 when he and his representatives stopped replying to our enquiries. 

We have noted, although have not reported on, legal actions between Mr. Heidary and certain of his suppliers,  We understand that this property too, now unfenced, unmaintained and surveilled by the ubiquitous Fairmount Security, is the subject of legal action involving the owner and the City of Owen Sound.

As these three or more cases are now in progress, we do not expect further details from any of the parties involved.

This might not be very encouraging information for the residents of Owen Sound, but as Walter Cronkite used to say, “That's the way it is.” 







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