Neighbours in the Seaton Village neighbourhood have voiced complaints to the City of Toronto about three decrepit houses on Markham Street, north of Bloor. The homes at 699, 701 and 703 Markham St. owned by one family, have remained unoccupied for the last six or seven years, and are now beyond redemption. Their roofs are moss-covered and sagging, the chimneys collapsed, and the plywood covering the front wall is tagged, 'HEISENBERG', in reference to the drug-related TV show, Breaking Bad. On this stretch of Markham, the homes are smaller and more humble than the large, lovingly-maintained brick homes than found further south. Houses for sale in the area start around $700,000. Built in the 1880s, these cottages reflect their working-class heritage, many of them housed the labourers who worked in the Christie Sand Pits.
Complaints from annoyed neighbours include:
· Garbage and bed mattress on the front lawn
· Problems with raccoons and rodents
· Long grass and weeds; graffiti on the front and back
Toronto entrepreneur and writer Peter Ehrlich and his son rented the home at 703 Markham St. until 2005. When he first moved in, Ehrlich says although he loved the cozy dwelling, it was already a disaster with baseboard heating and no insulation. Among other artifacts, Ehrlich found a newspaper from 1934 and a French perfume bottle from 1880. According to Ehrlich, the owner can't afford to develop the land so why aren't they selling?'