Western LRT and the Best Time to Sell

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With all the brou-ha-ha and controversy about the routing of the WLRT along the old CPR corridor adjacent the Ottawa River Commuter Expressway, the complainants frequently raise the issue of “property values”.

Supposedly they will be harmed by the provision of rapid transit near their homes, even if underground. Much of this reasoning follows the “I don’t like it so I’ll think up arguments against it” school of reasoning, since the potential offsetting savings in property taxes isn’t mentioned.

However, if property values go up, someone is sure to complain their taxes will too, since logic is being supplanted by whining.

I have an acquaintance who lives in one of the townhouse clusters along Richmond Road, although his unit doesn’t directly border the parkway. He tells me the very best time to sell is mid-winter, because the trees have no leaves and you can actually see  (or imagine…) the river and greenery. And the windows are closed. In the summer the trees block the view.

Because just as developers were diligent to thickly plant townhouses along the river,  the NCC has been very diligent to plant trees to screen them:

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This strategy has been successful, as motorists will spot few homes along the parkway. As is the case everywhere that homes back upon nice views, mysterious tree and shrub prunings occur regularly (see, for eg, along Colonel By Drive/Echo Drive opposite Lansdowne), as does occasional tree murder (see Westboro beach about two years ago for the last fuss about this). Views are worth money, and who’s to let trees get in the way?

There is one section along the WLRT route that had a lot of tree removal last year, and those houses (temporarily?) have more open river views:

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So, if you are a homeowner along the Expressway, and worried about the best time to sell, it is winter, of course, until construction starts. Then the best time to sell is as construction concludes, since the city will have conveniently removed all those trees that block the view, and installed grass over the LRT under-the-lawn tunnel, but the new trees (and the budget allowance for replanting is totally huge and cadillac scale) won’t have grown up yet.

For buyers, of course, it is best to buy while fear of the LRT /unknown is highest (“buy when others are fearful”) or as construction starts.

This free advice, of course, is worth what you paid for it.

3 thoughts on “Western LRT and the Best Time to Sell

  1. I recently discovered I can take the 94 or 95 to my work near the Sportsplex, and that the route goes along the SJaM parkway. After hearing loud complaints from the NCC and NIMBY residents along the parkway I was shocked by 2 points.
    First- the patch of grass between the lanes looks like crap. Clearly the mowing budget has been reduced. This is the ‘pristine’ view that is being defended against ugly public transit.
    Second-I could see very few houses or apartments through the trees. Who is this view being preserved for? People who live in Baird, or Polliver’s riding’s who drive into work every day along the parkway? It certainly looked incredible from the bus….

  2. I think half the people living in those townhouses today won’t be there by the time the western LRT is built and that those who do will enjoy the view from their upper windows while enjoying the privacy and noise reduction the new LRT tunnel/berm provides their backyard.

  3. IIRC, the city was proposing to plant the replacement trees first (in their new locations) before undertaking the construction so that the vegetative wall would continue without pause.

    The NCC’s love affair with sterile pleasant views for automotive commuters is a neverending source of wonder to me.

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