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September 11, 2012

So, sadly, those learned individuals that initially installed our fence-y bits really were as incompetent as feared. A new crew of fence installers showed up to rip out the old fence posts and install new ones. While it took more than six months to install the existing posts, it took these guys less than five hours to rip out the old ones and put in new ones.

I assume these guys are from a competent municipality, like East Gwillimbury, because there's no way anyone connected with Vaughan moves that quickly.

I asked one chap why the posts were being moved. The conversation went like this:

Wormald: "Why are you moving the posts?"
Fence Dude: "They were too far from the house."
Wormald: "Yeah, but why were installed so far from the house?"
Fence Dude: "Because they're too far from the house."

At this point he felt my pointless questions were answered sufficiently and he walked away. Maybe I'm wrong — they must be from Vaughan.

At any rate, they chiseled the old posts from their concrete footings and installed new ones about a foot-and-a-half closer to the house. While I haven't had a chance to inspect them, I assume they have monitoring devices and other such things embedded in them. City Hall has decided they want to keep a closer eye on me, so I have warned Meg to avoid her many nefarious day-time activities until we've had a chance to counter their surveillance. (What else does Meg do during the day? Ohhhh... I'm going to be in trouble for that last one.)

One of the guys promised us that the entire span of the fence would be complete sometime this week. (Begin holding breath.... NOW!)

September 24, 2012

It has now been two weeks since Megan was told that the fence would be finished within a week. During that time, no one has shown up to do anything. The last work of any sort was repositioning the posts into their correct spots (fingers crossed but we're pretty sure this time) along the side of the house.

With the weather starting to turn, I'm beginning to lose what little hope I had that they'll finish the "Great Wall of Vaughan" any time this year. Beyond erecting the enclosure, they were also supposed to extend the sidewalk and do the landscaping. With the way things have been going, I fully expect them to, when they finally do complete this engineering marvel, plant the trees and shrubs on the wrong side of the fence.

Vaughan's seeming inability to complete a single fence within a calendar year is all the more baffling when you realize that the missing sections are pre-fabricated. All they need do — assuming the posts are spaced correctly... which is no guarantee, see above — is bolt the fence-y bits to the posts. I could lend them Owen if they need an extra pair of hands. He's cruising now and could likely keep up with their frenetic pace.

So, instead, I'm resigning myself for the foreseeable future to look at a field of ugly, lonely fence posts that are missing their complementary fence-y bits. Perhaps I'll use them for Festivus poles.

Truthfully, this sad situation is infuriating. Vaughan council, a few months back, set forth a motion to begin studying how best to rename Highway 7. The biggest infrastructure project in the region is the construction of a TTC subway station in Vaughan — and extension of the Toronto subway system into our region. Council intends to position the station as the epicenter of the new "Downtown Vaughan", and Highway 7 isn't hip enough for such a prestigious part of town.

Of course, the area is actually a blight on the region. It's flanked by major two highways, and the station itself will be centered between a heavy rail yard and dozens of big-box stores... I can envision the slogan:

"Vaughan: Come for the Subway, stay for the Home Depot."

Nothing about this parcel of land was ever given any measure of long-term consideration. A restaurant leads into a patch of industrial which melts into a slew of car dealerships, all of which are separated from the surrounding neighbourhoods by four-lane roads darting off in every direction. As a comical aside, the newly-constructed Vaughan City Hall, which opened this past spring, is miles and miles from what will hopefully be the city's "shining light on the off ramp". Apparently an afterthought when the deep thinkers started envisioning "Downtown Vaughan."

But first things first: we need a new name for Highway 7.

This is Vaughan.
This is my fence.


October 2, 2012

No one from Vaughan has done anything further to the fence or its surrounding area.

Nothing. They aren't even trying to make the attempt at humoring me.

So, inspired by the cool papier-mâché thingy that David Mirvish and Frank Gehry foisted before the media to illustrate their new King West project, I have created my interpretation of what the fence and landscaping would look like had I lived in a municipality that completed its capital projects in a timely manner.

October 18, 2012

I left the house this morning to discover a couple guys milling around the fence-y bits. They weren't moving all that quickly and neither seemed to be doing much of much, so I quickly assumed Vaughan had dispatched them, eight months after they began and a full month after saying it would be completed, to again work on the fence. They were standing over a pile of left-over stone that has been sitting idle for half a year.

The first guy motioned to me and asked whether it was my stone — which, let's face it, was nice of him to ask as, like most of you, I keep half a tonne of broken fencing-stone on the city-owned land at the side of my property. I told him "no," and queried whether they were going to finish the fence this year.

The second guy gave me an odd look while the first guy again asked whether it was my stone.

"Umm, no," I said.
"So, we can have it?" asked the second guy.
"Have what?"
"The stone! Can we have it?" yelled the first guy, now clearly agitated.

It was that point I noticed their truck, parked some way down the street, was for some stone recycling company.

"Did the city send you?" I asked.
"For what?" they said, almost in unison.

I was beginning to think I was in some mordern-day, Vaughan-inspired Abbott and Costello skit. It was also at this point that I realized the two Tweedles had nothing to do with the fence. I told them to take the stone and walked back to the driveway to put Owen into his car seat.

I looked over my shoulder and, sadly, my new friends got into their truck and drove away... leaving behind the pile of broken stone.

A whole lot'a nuthin', once again.
Third base!


November 5, 2012

Went for a drive to Grandma and Grand-Dad's yesterday when Megan happened to notice that a newer portion of our community up the street had had its fence completed within the past week.

Their houses were completed after mine.
Their fence construction started after mine
Their fence was completed before mine.

That apocalyptic explosion you heard Sunday was my slow boil finally going thermal. The resulting shock wave that rattled your windows was me cursing at everything Vaughan.

Should you hear of some charming and decent-looking lunatic going postal in Vaughan in the coming days.... well, mum's the word.