Ottawa homeowner shocked to find major excavation inches from her home

A homeowner in the Ottawa suburb of Manotick says she has had part of her property destroyed by a developer who owns the land next door. 

“I came home from work one day to find 17 trees down on my property,” homeowner Wendy Richards told CTV News Ottawa.

Richards says she could not believe what she saw returning from work one day. A major excavation, inches from her home. Most of the trees cut down she says, were hers. 

“I contacted the city of Ottawa.” Says Richards. “The bylaw people came, the Ministry of Labour. Cause basically my house was just hanging in the wind.”

She says the Ministry of Labour immediately put a stop work order on the site.

Richards says she owns more than a metre of land to the left of her house, and that the developer, George Saade, ignored the property line.

 “He was inches from my gas line.” Says Richards. “Some spots the excavation was only 12 inches from my house, and 12 feet down. Straight down.”

The property became so unsafe, Richards says the City of Ottawa had to send a crew to support the side of her house.

“The city did it themselves by bringing a backhoe and placing loads and loads of gravel to stabilize my house temporarily.” Says Richards.

CTV News reached out to the developer multiple times but he has not returned calls or emails.

He has previously said that he was asked by Richards to cut down the trees and that the excavation was on his property, which Richards has denied. 

Residents in Manotick can’t believe what has happened.

“Total abuse on the part of the developer for not having foresight and having the courtesy to speak to the homeowner adjacent to the property,” says Manotick resident Al Hubenig. 

Richards says she plans to sue.

Her neighbour, Nicola Rutherford wanted to help, so she started a GoFundMe page to help pay for legal fees and other expenses.

“The GoFundMe was to bring the community in. To help where they wanted to. And also to give Wendy peace of mind,” Rutherford says.

Richards says she is most upset about the trees, which were hundreds of years old and estimated at $25,000 to replace. 

She also says a real estate agent told her the excavation next door, may have taken $95,000 off the value of her home. 

“This is my home for 21 years,” says Richards. “And it doesn’t feel as much like home as it did just a few months ago. I’m devastated.”