Monday, February 2, 2015

CRYSTAL BEACH: THEN AND NOW?

On this Groundhog Day, it seems ironic that Crystal Beach is going through a repetition of the same events that almost destroyed the Beach in the past. Namely, speculators coming in to the beach and making promises to (while taking advantage of) the hard-working people of the village. Remember what it was like after the amusement park closed? Speculators bought numerous cottages that were up for sale or lost when the financial anchor of the Beach caused a mass exodus. The Beach was red-lined so that only those who had access to private money could pick up a property, many for less than $20,000. The cottages were fixed up just enough to be rent-worthy for people on social assistance who were transferred from the GTA to save the taxpayers some money. The policy further degraded the Beach for several years. A prestigious study (C.A.U.S.E) concluded that Crystal Beach was a "hidden gem" and it could come back if certain recommendations were followed. Thus, the renaissance of Crystal Beach began. Slowly the demographics changed: retirees bought cottages and gave up their pricey homes in the GTA to return to a summer paradise full time. Once the red-lining ended, families began to buy or build in the Beach because there were better choices offered. Despite the contentious Bay Beach Project, new builds and cottage renos continued. The future looked bright for Crystal Beach.

Then, along came Gary Fraser, convicted and jailed for investment fraud, with a grand idea for development in Crystal Beach. Déjà Vu all over again. (Read more about Gary HERE)

And that brings us to the "Then and Now" project that may have been the brainchild of Gary Fraser or one of his followers. It caused a major problem in the Friends of Crystal Beach. Thankfully, the FOCB exercised caution and withdrew an application for a grant that may have helped fund the restoration of the so-called "painted ladies" around Queen's Circle and other places in the Beach. It was unclear as to how much the FOCB would be on the hook for its part of the project. Could have been thousands. 

So, without further ado, I offer you Gary Fraser's (through a company his girlfriend/wife is president of) vision of Crystal Beach Then and Now:
22 Queen's Circle c.2013 (listing photo)

Picture posted on Facebook this weekend (thanks, Lorrie)


A closer look at the house shows that it has been stripped to its rafters and studs. Gone is the wainscoting, antique mouldings and all the features that made this stately former tourist home special. It is now a sad shell. A smaller vintage cottage next to 22 Queen's Circle was removed entirely, termites were cited as the cause. Odd that no other homes in the area have termites. The property was recently listed at one million dollars.

16 comments:

  1. What a bloody mess, why remove all that cedar shake on the exterior & it looks like part of an upper window is missing. Big question where did all the wood go as no one can recall seeing a dumpster. This is a real shame.

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  2. Dr. James FreemontFebruary 2, 2015 at 5:19 PM

    Gary got caught promoting various projects and investments that led to criminal charges and convictions. Now hes back out in the community. Its important that he make a public display of his disregard for the shameful way was caught out. A short person showing the classic signs of "short person syndrome" when needing a way to try to blow off any semblance of being sorry for the way they acted. First, they need to overcompensate. GF would likely have torn down a lot more classic homes on Queens circle if he could have, to make his point. Shows he "just dont care" what others think of his actions in going to jail or at least in his mind it does. Wouldnt be the first short person who needs to overcompensate after some boner move. That sort of distruction should be illegal. He knows it. How about that car he got with other peoples money. Need any other proof? Sure somthing missing in that persons life. Possibly physical stature? Couldnt they just buy some platform shoes if thats their problem? Sure sad to see what some warped individuals do to try to look ahead of the curve.

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    1. Holy Crap .... we've got a psychiatrist in our midst. Do tell more Dr. James .....

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  3. I know it is soooo easy to sit behind your computer and complain about EVERYTHING. But to what end?

    Gary bought a property. He can do with it what he likes. Somebody sold the property and stuffed the money in their pocket.

    You got a problem with the current state of the building ...... buy it and fix it up the way YOU want it to be. "Nuff said ...... put your money where your mouth is.

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    1. The previous owner of 22 Queen's Circle spent years and a lot of effort to restore the building to the state it was in when it was listed for sale. Pictures with the listing show classic design features of the hundred year old home.

      The new owners have turned it into something worthy of a slum. Right at the centre of Crystal Beach. Do you really think it's right to turn a property into a blighted mess? What if your next-door neighbour decided to strip his house to the rafters and leave it in the condition that the place on Queen's Circle is in?

      I'm not just complaining; I am warning people about a convicted fraudster who has taken up residence in our area and appears to be doing the same kind of thing that ended up with his incarceration. He has a long history of scamming people in Niagara. Crystal Beach seems to be his next "project."

      So far, his girlfriend/wife has bought a bunch of properties in the area and has not sold any of them. They sit empty and uncompleted. Or torn down. Or stripped almost bare.

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    2. One may own property, BUT NO they can't do what ever they want on it!! Each municipality has by-laws that home owners have to follow and need permits to make major changes! Even having a larger deck than 12x12 one needs a permit from the town. For Demolition of a building, Defiantly one needs a permit as well.

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  4. " termites were cited as the cause. "

    Where did you get that one from? LMAO

    Check your fact before posting.

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  5. A lot of people complain about the amount of regulation "town halls" (the generic name citizens give to that black hole of overpaid desk pilots our tax money go to.) Examples of what not to do now stare out at every passerby that cares to look around the historic Queens Circle area. Like we needed more reasons to tie up renovations and home improvements with regulations designed to avoid these type of eyesores from becoming more common. When people ask "why all the red tape??", quietly point to examples like this. You can both shake your heads together. A million dollars, for that pile of stripped lumber. Now how long is that going to take to get cleared up. It looks like someone punched out a couple of teeth from what was a pretty nice smile. In a way wish old Gary didnt get caught, he might have left the area quietly with his stolen money and left the local architecture to continue to age gracefully even if he doesent.

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  6. Also many many yellow and red Committee of Adjustment signs all over CB.

    Obviously many builders wanting some sort of "adjustment" to the existing by-laws.

    This town is in the business of selling building permits without doing any homework whatsoever as to what these "adjustments" to long standing by-laws will do long term to a community. Ignoring long standing building by-laws will affect CB for decades, long after the short term gain of the building permit money will be wasted at town hall on someone like Jimmie Dirt Bag.

    Town planning here is a very bad joke and has been forever. When was the last time anyone won against the town at a Committee of Adjustment hearing??? Then it goes to the OMB (another expensive bad joke) if the opponents are that adamant. Just show up at town hall with your checkbook and they will approve almost any dumbassed idea that fills a builders pockets as long as you are willing to pay and then invariably take off with your profits leaving disarray behind you for the residents to live with or clean up.

    Welcome to long term planning Fort Stupid style as long as the right pockets get lined and near sighted politicians APPEAR to be doing something. (and for all this we pay a so called expert about $$$$$ 140,000 $$$$!!!!)

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  7. Have to add to that observation about short people. Now not in every case but how many workplaces do we remember where the short person was a real tyrant maybe trying to make up for some other "short"coming? Sometime you can just laugh at what "goes on" when people like this overthink their situation. Progressive companys avoid hiring these people because of what they might be in for. They arnt going to say so but have a good look around sometime.Would you want that for a boss?? Short in stature, long on attitude. Keep that in mind when you take a stroll through the historical district in CB. Results speak for themselves.

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  8. To The Voice of Reason - Mr Fraser told a number of people in CB that he had to demolish the Queens Circle property because they discovered termites.

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  9. Interesting that all of GF's projects have stopped construction. All his listings on MLS are gone. Is he gone too?

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  10. You are correct none of the properties are listed neither Starboard View homes or Black Bear Homes, maybe he is looking for another Realtor? or ..... maybe someone has caught up to him??

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  11. All the listings have been cancelled. Not sure what that means. Maybe the realtor figures it is a waste of time or maybe he s going to hire a new person to sell this over priced mythical vision of profit. The KING has no clothes but there are always the perfect sucker who believes he is dressed in Gold.

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  12. If you ever needed another reminder of what goes on in the strange world of real estate have a look at the photos posted and the responses. Same old, as anyone with one working eye would see that somthing ugly and confused came for a visit on the Queens Circle. Listings on MLS vanish for so many number of reasons it would be difficult to list them all here. To The Voice of Raisins, if GF said he wanted to demolish the QC property because there was buried pirate treasure under it, it would have made page 3 in the FE Post with "Dick" Culic writing a piece about how the pirates of Lake Erie buried a chest of hockey pucks there and only GF has the map to their whereabouts, or some other forgetable nonsense. The strange world of real estate with a convicted crook sticking his big ugly ego into the historical district, not to create something but to tear somthing down for all to see.Nice. Right across from the new plaque dedicated to the memory of what used to be. There are places where such actions would take the guilty to jail. In Frasers case back to jail. "What are you in for?" "UHH, I tore down 2 heritage homes in a historical district", "OOOH, yoo baad, no one gona mess wich yoo", cupcake boy.

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  13. So that mess on Queens Circle and its connection to G Fraser is finally getting some coverage on this blog. Good on you! Isnt there some connection to Mr Fraser to that old house on Michener Road the locals call the "prison house "because of all the floodlights they have shining on it? Thats the place where those two old swayback horses stand around in their dirty blankets in the mud in front of that sagging barn all spring. Sad really. If Mr Fraser has some connection to this place you would think he might cut back on the electric lights and do a little for the animals there.Maybe there is some connection to a prison as it looks like someone might try to make a run for it if those lights went out. Most likely those horses to look for some pasturage if they had the chance.

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