Plenty of discussion is underway about what London’s Bus Rapid Transit plans will do to properties along the proposed routes. It seems that several homeowners, especially along Richmond St. North, were unaware that the city owns a part of their frontage. City Hall can claim several metres if it needs it without offering compensation. It isn’t great news for anyone expecting a payout when the street is widened to accommodate BRT. But the system also works in the other direction. It’s the city’s responsibility if something goes wrong with the pipes between the road and your house. And in 2009 when a large tree on our front lawn died, it was up to the city to take care of it.
We had choices. They would haul the tree away or leave it. We chose to keep it for firewood. They filled the hole and seeded the area. And a few weeks later, they returned to plant a new tree, which is thriving.
True, we have to take care of their lawn and their tree but it seems like a pretty good trade. Years before we moved in, there was a problem with the sewer pipes that affected several homes and the city took care of it quickly and at its own expense. A survey of your property should show you how much is the city’s right-of-way. If it decided it needs more, it will offer to buy it at market value and you can try to bid them up. If you don’t know how big the right-of-way on your property is, it’s probably worth a phone call to find out.