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Pointe-Claire treehouse out-of-bounds, in accordance with metropolis

Peter Ducree with neighbourhood kids Ben and Owen Pepin, front, and Emma and Sam Williams in the treehouse in his Pointe-Claire backyard. The city says the treehouse must come down because a part of it is on city property.


Pointe-Claire senior constructed a yard tree home for neighbourhood children in the course of the pandemic, however the metropolis says it needs to be eliminated by Jan. 22.

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Peter Ducree spent the summer season months constructing a yard tree home for neighbourhood kids to play in in the course of the pandemic.

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Whereas the treehouse is a success with the children, metropolis officers just lately knowledgeable the 75-year-old Pointe-Claire resident by letter that the tree home encroaches on metropolis territory and needs to be eliminated by Jan. 22, or he’ll face fines.

Ducree, a retired Bell worker who lives on Summerhill Ave. in Valois, hopes the tree home can stay intact because it has develop into a well-liked fixture for native children searching for outside actions to interrupt the stifling boredom of the pandemic.

He stated the 4-by-8-foot tree home was a “labour of affection.” He put in it about seven ft above floor in an enormous maple tree that borders Ponner Ave., subsequent to Ponner Woods.

What upsets Ducree probably the most is that he approached metropolis officers earlier than he began constructing to see if he wanted a allow. He was informed a allow was not required. “My mistake is that I didn’t get that in writing,” he stated.

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He stated metropolis inspectors got here by a few occasions after he completed the mission. On Dec. 15, native public safety knowledgeable him that as a result of 30 per cent of the roots on the base of the tree have been on metropolis property, the tree home poses a possible legal responsibility to the town.

“They stated I needed to take it down or they’ll take it down and cost me for the time.”

Ducree argued the tree home was on non-public land, however a metropolis arborist got here with a certificates of  location. “They measured from the cement curb (on the road) to the bottom of the tree. The bottom is about 5 ft in diameter, and 30 per cent of it’s on the town aspect and the remainder is on the non-public aspect. However when the tree was planted it was on non-public land and it grew larger.”

Ducree stated it’s inconceivable to change the construction now with out eradicating it and rebuilding it from scratch.

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He stated public safety had to concentrate on the mission as a result of they usually handed by whereas he was engaged on it. He wished that they had stated one thing to him earlier so he may have addressed any irregularities.

He contacted his native councillor, Kelly Thorstad-Cullen, to see if a  compromise might be reached with the town.

A spokesperson for the town informed the Montreal Gazetted the tree home file is presently below evaluate.

Ducree says he constructed a top quality tree home product of plywood and cedar, and outfitted with a staircase ladder. Even the gray siding matches his home.

“I most undoubtedly ‘overbuilt’ this treehouse,”  he stated in a Fb submit. “Actually my neighbours would inform me there are some dwelling extensions that have been accomplished with much less care and concern for longevity and security.

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“Folks going by would generally joke to me that they wished to hire a room up there.”

Ducree, the daddy of two grownup kids, has the help of some neighbours and their kids who play within the construction.

Jennifer Leblanc, who additionally lives on Summerhill, stated the tree home has been a supply of delight for her kids  — Ben, 8 and Owen, 6,  — in the course of the pandemic and she or he’d be unhappy to see it eliminated.

“I believe he must be allowed to maintain it. It’s not harming anybody and it’s giving loads of pleasure to the group. All the children got here to play right here within the summertime. It offers all people one thing to do.”

She stated the pandemic has been a killjoy for confined children.

“They haven’t been allowed to do something. Now they’re doing on-line studying in school. Yesterday,  after being on the pc for 5 hours, my boys got here outdoors and performed within the tree fort.”

Wade Williams says his two children — Emma, 10, and Sam, 8  — additionally benefit from the cool tree home.

“I don’t know if the town can compromise primarily based on the present guidelines,” Williams stated. “I assume they must bend or change the principles.”

“Peter labored on all of it summer season lengthy,” added Leblanc. “And it’s not hurting anyone. It’s bringing the group collectively.”

Owen, left, and Ben Pepin in the tree house in Peter Ducree’s backyard in Pointe-Claire on Tuesday. The city says the treehouse must come down because a part of it is on city property.
Owen, left, and Ben Pepin within the tree home in Peter Ducree’s yard in Pointe-Claire on Tuesday. The town says the treehouse should come down as a result of part of it’s on metropolis property. Picture by John Mahoney /Montreal Gazette

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