Toronto condo owners suing developer for $3 million over secret tunnel

The discovery of the tunnel beneath 365 Dundas Street East, has lead the residents of the building to file a $3 million lawsuit.
The discovery of the tunnel beneath 365 Dundas Street East, has lead the residents of the building to file a $3 million lawsuit. (Photo via Google Maps)

Owners of a downtown Toronto, Ont. condominium were surprised to discover the foul odour that was a constant presence was caused by a tunnel beneath their building.

The discovery of the tunnel beneath 365 Dundas Street East, has lead the residents of the building to file a $3 million lawsuit against the developer — Century Loft Inc., — the city of Toronto, Enbridge Gas, the architect and two engineers.

The building was a former factory, built in 1940, which the developer renovated in the early 2000’s in order to turn it into condominium building which housed 41 units.

However, a few years after residents started moving in, they detected a foul smell that was worsening with time. The condo board hired contractors to find the source, which lead them to the condo’s basement.

After peeling back a part of the basement wall, the contractors discovered a structure they described as a “tunnel”, which runs two metres high and twenty metres long.

A lawyer for Century Lofts Inc. told CBC News that the tunnel had already existed when the developer bought the building. Part of the tunnel was utilized to run water, hydro and electrical lines for the condo.

He also said that the city inspected the building during construction and that “everything was clear.”

Owners say that everything is not clear as they hired an engineer who claims that the tunnel has weakened the structure of the building, which forced owners to spend $100,000 on installing reinforcing steel columns.

This raises the question of why the condo owners weren’t informed about the tunnel at purchase.

Once a buyer decides to buy a condo, developers have to give them a disclosure statement. The statement is package that includes important information about the building, unit and finances. Upon delivery, he or she has a 10-day cooling off period, in which they can decide whether they want to go through with the purchase.

While developers have legal disclosure requirements, did the developer meet the minimum disclosure requirements, despite leaving out the existence of the tunnel?

A court will decide what the obligations of the developer and city may be in late 2018.

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