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Etobicoke resident says part of backyard collapsed due to new build next door

Last Updated Apr 17, 2018 at 7:30 pm EDT

An Etobicoke resident says she is left without a fence and a chunk of her backyard after the property next door was dug up to build a new house.

Sophie Pefhany claims the contractor hired for the job dug too close to the property line. She adds that no retaining wall was built to secure the land, which led to a 30 x 4-foot wide portion of her property collapsing into the pit next door.

Pefhany caught the moment the land collapsed on video after she and her husband noticed the fence shifting on Saturday.

Shortly after, they contacted the city, the building department, the property owner and the contractor. They also spoke to their neighbour on the other side of the property who has also lost his fence and a part of his walkway because of the pit being dug next door.

CityNews spoke to the contractor involved who says he did not dig too close to the property line. He believes the rain and snow this past weekend as well as alternate periods of freezing and thawing eroded the land, leading to the collapse.

 

An emergency contractor who did not work on the original dig but was called in to repair the damage told CityNews it appears that the original contractor followed all code regulations. Dino Karanicolas, owner of Dinosaur Shoring and Excavation agrees with the original contractor and believes the inclement weather over the weekend was likely a contributing factor to the fence and land collapsing.

Karanicolas adds that he’s dealing with two other such calls and is concerned with the actual building code itself. Given the distance between the two houses, he says the building code does not require a below-ground retaining wall. He believes that ideally retaining walls should be mandatory regardless of distance between homes.

CityNews has reached out to the city but did not hear back at the time of publishing.