Letters to the Editor August 2023

Too tough on the landlord

I am sending this email in reaction to Geoff Kettel’s article on the Garden Court Apartments in your June 2023 edition. Normally I am supportive of the views expressed by Mr. Kettel and I have found his focus on Saving Old Leaside to be a great benefit to the community over the years. However in this case, I do not feel his article was balanced.

I don’t know who the landlord is and I have no connection with it. Maybe it is a horrible landlord as the article implies. However for years my wife and I have walked through the Garden Court grounds on our way to and from the Bayview shops and have enjoyed what is described as its Art Moderne elegance. Over the past few years we have marvelled at the huge expense the landlord has incurred to repair and improve the landscaping, balconies, brickwork, walkways, steps and retaining walls. While I am not competent to comment on the compliance with the historical heritage aspects of the complex, it seems unfair to describe this as a “downtrodden old building” and suggest the landlord’s hidden motive is to let the building run down so that the tenants can be “demovicted.” I have no idea of the costs put into the complex over the past few years; but based on a recent estimate of the costs to level our driveway bricks and re-lay them, the landlord’s costs must be in the hundreds of thousands. In those circumstances, it seems quite unfair for Mr. Kettel to imply this landlord has a hidden motive to let this property run down.

The article mentions that the rents have been increased above the guidelines, but the landlord may only do so if they have incurred the costs to justify the above guidelines rents. I have to assume that the necessary approvals were given to the increases. I am sympathetic to pensioners and others who may have difficulty with increased rents and that is a significant societal issue. However, if you want heritage rental properties to be maintained and preserved, someone has to pay.

Wayne Rosenman 

The Video-ettes: Leaside’s husband-and-wife novelty musical team

I read your article about my parents and it brought joy to my heart. The article was well written and researched.

I applaud Mr. DeWelles and it is my hope that I get to meet him someday and thank him personally.

I subscribed to Leaside Life and look forward to more great articles.

Lawrence Guinness
Tiburon/Belvedere, California