City to Paul Bronfman: tear down this fence

City to Paul Bronfman: tear down this fence

Being robbed is never a happy experience, and people understandably react to a violation by taking measures to improve their personal security. If you’re a person of average income, you might sign up with a security firm or buy a dog. If you’re a billionaire scion of one of Canada’s wealthiest families, you fence in your property with wrought iron and chain-link, then install floodlights that annoy the hell out of your neighbours. In fact, you might just be a Bronfman.

In the latest turn in the ongoing and well-publicized feud between the Bronfman clan and the city (they already told him to be less obnoxious with the floodlights), the billionaire was ordered on Tuesday to take down the wrought iron fence he had added to an already high brick wall. The Globe and Mail reports:

Karen Arbesman lives on Burton Avenue, and she spoke for her neighbours when she told a meeting of the Toronto–East York Community Council that the Bronfmans’ new floodlights bathed her yard “like a football field.”

“We have this eyesore that we’re looking at every single day,” Ms. Arbesman said of the fences. “So I oppose it.”

The offending fences were built atop a turn-of-the-19th-century brick wall that encircles the property. It ranges in height from 7.3 feet to nine feet, depending on the slope at ground level. The combined brick and wrought iron fence is 12 feet at its highest point.

Neighbours called the fences a “monstrosity” and a mockery of the by-laws governing fence size in Toronto. Paul Bronfman (rather, his lawyer—the Bronfmans are fittingly out of the country) called it a concerned father’s attempt to protect his children. The committee unsurprisingly came down unanimously against Bronfman’s East German–inspired architecture.
The Star quotes Bronfman’s lawyer, who says there’s no avenue for appeal, but never say never. If appeals fail, might we suggest a robotic Richard Simmons?

• Billionaire Bronfman’s fence ordered down in Forest Hill [Toronto Star]
• Feud with city of Toronto has Bronfmans on the fence [Globe and Mail]

Feud with city of Toronto has Bronfmans on the fence [Globe and Mail]