Monday, April 11, 2011

I made a difference and I can prove it!

You know that warm feeling you get when you accomplish something big? I've got it right now. Now, I certainly didn't accomplish this singlehandedly, but if I hadn't have been a squeaky wheel (a little like my post about the blue roof - with update here) then it's entirely possible that nothing would have changed.

Picture it. Winnipeg, 2010. (Golden Girls reference purely for my own amusement). In my early days of Dear 311, I came across this little gem of a house.

Just for fun, lets do a little test on what violations we can see from this side alone. If you answered, peeling paint, missing soffits and eavestroughs, partial (improper) boarding of the front door, missing address and unsafe front stairs missing a handrail (required if there are more than 3 steps) well then you have an incredible eye for detail (and the ability to see past the edge of the photo since the sins of the stairs aren't really visible!)

Initially my complaint was brushed off, but I persisted.  This is what the house looks like today:

No really, it's the same house!

I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty much over the moon. I'm the little grain of sand that made the City oyster produce a pearl, see, a little irritation isn't always a bad thing!  Person by person, house by house we can create change. Okay, enough patting myself on the back, see you on May 7th!


  1. Wow, pat on the back Winnipeg Girl. This can be done by anyone, or should I say everyone. One single change at a time can turn the North End into the gem it once was. Again, pat on the back Winnipeg Girl.

  2. Beautiful job Wpg. girl, I see these old houses and I want to save them. We are on our second in Point Douglas, renting out the first to great local tenants.

  3. You seriously think that YOU are responsible for this.???? You are even stupider than you sound!!

  4. @astone, yes, I do think I am partly responsible for this. I know that when the complaints regarding this property were originally lodged that the inspector didn't feel that it was worth enforcing the by-laws. Because I chose to follow up on the issue, ask questions, demand action and compliance the owner of the property was forced to fix it.

    Did I write up the infraction orders? No. Did I physically do the renovation work? No. Did I force the owner to go above and beyond in compliance? No, but I'm pleased as punch that they did, they could have satisfied the orders with far less flourish. Did I put the wheels in motion for this to happen? You bet I did, and I'm proud of it.

  5. Someone escaped from the Free Press comments section ;)