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City Life

The Fight Over OMB Folly Continues


Back in October we brought up an interesting tale of revenge at the municipal level, North York council overwhelmingly approved a motion (7-2) to name one of the new streets in a development that was approved contrary to the master plan ‘OMB Folly’.  We had a couple comments to that article and most all were in favour of the name change.

Well now time is coming to put shovel to ground and future residents of OMB folly are starting to weigh in on the debate. In The Star its reported that a future resident wrote to Mayor David Miller to request that the name be changed back to its original intended name ‘Connfield Lane.’

“We just felt it was very inappropriate for elected officials to be toying around with people’s investment and purchases in the city,” she said in an interview. “And we felt it was very derogatory to the Ontario Municipal Board.” S

They Mayor is quoted as saying that he didn’t agree with the new name either but that she needed to speak to John Filion the councilor who first came up with the motion. “Filion said he won’t support a switch. He considers the matter closed after the community council voted 7-2 to recommend OMB Folly, and city council approved it, 14-13.” S

Barring a judicial injunction I doubt that the new residents are going to see much help. I have to say that I wonder just how much of an impact to their investment the new home owners are going to see. Just how much does the name of the street actually play into a buyers mind when it comes to property purchases?

While some streets do carry a certain mark up price or prestige, Sherbrooke ave in Montreal, or Park Avenue in New York, does the name really matter all that much when dealing with the thousands of permutations in the suburbs? Connfeild lane vs Wilson lane? Whats the difference?

When my parents moved back in 1997 they ended up choosing a great house with a ‘bad’ address, and while my dad wasn’t too happy about the street name one ‘Puff Ball Lane,’ they were and are still very happy with the house. When it came down to it, it was about finding the best house for their needs and in the location that they wanted. The street name was ultimately irrelevant to the purchasing decision. While I certainly am not going to try to suggest that most people are as practical as my parents when it comes to home shopping, I would venture a guess that things like the roof and the foundation are going to be bigger concerns then the street name.

I wonder what people who live on other Follys would say?  Just by searching ‘Folly Lane’ I came up with 10 different lanes, 9 in the UK where it is evidently much more popular but one here in Canada as well. I wonder if the people on Folly Lane in Belleville have had any trouble with the resale value of their homes? Not to mention all the other permutations like ‘Watts folly’ in Australia, and the town of Folly Virginia. Ultimately I still hope the name sticks, ‘OMB Folly’ has a real history to it now.


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