I can’t believe it.

The Deliverance house is no more!

On Sunday, I took the pictures of my garden from the roof. On Monday, our real estate agent e-mailed us and told us the house was on fire. Someone had been careless with a cigarette, and the fire was noticed at 8 a.m. 

Unfortunately, it burned to the ground.

This is what it looked like before.

And now,

The middle section burned first.

The owners brought in a backhoe to tear down the building.

To put up a house takes a long time…

to pull it down, moments…..

I do not know what this means for Kilbourne Grove. Ian is upsetting me by saying they might put up an apartment building. At least the Deliverance house was only two stories, in time, when the cedar hedge grows, it will be (mostly) hidden. There is no way to hide an apartment building.

I guess we will just have to wait and see.

Sorry, I took so long to give you the news, I was waiting for my real estate agent to e-mail me some pictures of the destruction.


60 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Edith Hope said,

    Dear D, What an extraordinary thing to have happened – quite unbelieveable to me so I am certain that you must be astounded. And so very odd since your recent posting. Do you think it was arson?

    Your cedar hedge is doing beautifully, and the trees also provide cover, and what will be will be. Do not, dear D, worry about something which may never take place – in this case an apartment block which may never materialise. Go on as before with the making of your beautiful garden which, in the not too distant future, will be a wonderful enclosure upon which, I am certain, the rest of the world will not intrude.

    • 2

      E, I am so glad that I got that picture on Sunday. I deliberately took it, (usually I try to avoid the Deliverance house) to show everyone my cross to bear. The official reason was careless smoking, but I have to wonder, oh well, anything will look better then what was there.

  2. 3

    gardeningasylum said,

    Wow! Very weird. Thanks goodness your own property was unaffected!

  3. 5

    Thank heavens your garden is fine. I agree with Edith, no point in worrying about something you can’t change. Must have been very upsetting for you, all the same. Gillian xxx

  4. 7

    CherylR said,

    Wow…your absolutely right about years to build a house and only moments to take it down. What done is done now and you can only hope for the best. Your gardens are absolutely beautiful and I’m sure that hedge will grow and you have quite a few trees that will do some hiding too.

    • 8

      The original house was quite old, it had been added on piece by piece over the years. It was never very attractive, so the first thing we did was plant the cedar hedge. When the trees leaf out, it was quite hidden. Anything they put up will have to look better than what was there.

  5. 9

    miss m said,

    What a twist of fate ! Unbelievable. *sigh* No more banjo music …

  6. 11

    Hi Deborah – wow, what a strange coincidence that you had just posted about this property and now it’s gone. Hopefully something tasteful will be put in it’s place. In the meantime, enjoy the view. We just had neighbours take down an unsightly garage and we’re astounded as to what a difference it makes to our view.

    • 12

      Wasn’t that weird Heather, I wanted to get the shot before the trees leafed out and spring is so far ahead this year. I can see the Niagara Escarpment with all the trees now that it is gone, I will post some pictures in a few weeks.

  7. 13

    Laurrie said,

    People have posted about what to do after a storm knocks down their trees, or a flood washes out their gardens, but an eyesore suddenly leveled to the ground by fire? Haven’t seen that one. What an odd turn of events… and a fortunate one for your garden (but it is natural to worry about the replacement structure… i hope it’s benign)

  8. 15

    Hi Deborah! Wow! So glad the fire was kept from your lovely world!! I do feel for you with the unknown to neighbors whims. Sight and sound we cannot control … Good Luck!! I too have neighbors across the street that I can even smell the scented sheets they put in their dryers… sometimes it covers up my delicious lilacs! At least the house is cute… nothing creepy there … the people too are very nice…. but with a rental property … who knows? I hope your neighbors build a sweet one story house! ;>)

    • 16

      Carol, when you buy a house, you are at least aware of what is there at that time, it is harder when “new” elements come into play. And the neighbours were nice, now they will all be living somewhere else and I will get new ones, hopefully they will be just as nice. (And the “landlord” is building affordable housing, there were 11 units before, I am sure that he will do the same thing again, sigh…)

  9. 17

    Oh my…you’ve been delivered from Deliverance House. I do hope nobody was hurt. On the downside you will have to listen to some construction noise for the coming months. I do hope whatever they build is more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Do you know what the zoning regulations are there? How many floors they can build? Is there a limit? They will probably have to have a public City meeting if they change the use of the building, or try to get a permit for something outside of the zoning regs. I’d keep an eye open, and attend that meeting if there is one (notices of pending meetings are usually have to posted at the construction site and in local papers). You’d be amazed as a neighbor how much sway you can have at such meetings if you don’t like the architectural plans. Good luck, I hope you don’t end up with another monstrosity to look at!

    • 18

      Luckily no one was hurt, but most tenants (11 units) did not have tenants insurance, so they have lost everything. The landloard is finding them new housing and has vowed to rebuild affordable housing. No idea about the zoning regulations, but I am going to call the city and see what I can find out.

  10. 19

    Tatyana said,

    Sorry to hear that. So close to your place! I hope they’ll build something nice there!
    ….Eeee ….Just in case…. can you… buy that lot?

    • 20

      Tatyana, that was one of my first thoughts, after I knew everyone was ok. But, I am not sure how fire insurance works, I assume you would have to replace the structure before you could get the money from the insurance company.

  11. 21

    OMG is right!!! What a remarkable twist of fate. I agree with the above posters who advised not to worry about the things you can not change. I hope something attractive takes it’s place.

  12. 23

    Hi Deborah, What timing! I’m sure the loss of everything is a heartbreaker for your neighbours. The fate of the property probably depends a lot on whether it was a rental property or occupied by the owners. If it was owner occupied then they may build a lovely new home with the insurance money. If it is an absentee landord then, yes, watch the papers for any requests for bylaw changes and keep that cedar hedge well watered!

    • 24

      Wasn’t it strange, if spring hadn’t been so early, I wouldn’t have been up on the roof taking the picture. Two years ago, we still had some snow at this time of year. It was a rental property (11 units), I should have mentioned that in my post.

  13. 25


    OMG indeed! Hope no one was hurt and that your garden wasn’t singed in the process. Is there any way you can get the skinny on the owners or who the land is registered to?

    I’ve got my fingers crossed that something good replaces it!


    • 26

      M, no one was hurt, and my garden is unharmed! The owner, is well known in town, and known for building on the cheap, if you get my drift. I have my fingers crossed as well!

  14. 27

    Dear me. I guess we really DO need to be careful what we wish for.

  15. 29

    Melissa said,

    Deborah, I join those uttering sighs of relief that your own house wasn’t damaged. And Edith is right, you will just have to Wait and See what replaces Deliverance. I do hope it is something more attractive and not too tall. Around here many small houses are deliberately made into “tear-downs” and replaced by McMansions so I hope that will not be the case for you.

    • 30

      Melissa, I cant even hope for a McMansion as it was zoned multi-family. The owner is rebuilding “affordable” housing. I am just hoping he cannot go any taller than the original building, must call the city.

  16. 31

    Anna said,

    Glad that you are ok and that nobody was hurt by the sound of it – fires can be so devastating. Hope that whatever takes it place is more pleasing on your eye but try not to fret about it. Having lived with a neighbour who has extended his house tenfold in many years and cut down several mature and beautiful trees in the process I now try to look inwards 🙂

  17. 33

    Sylvana said,

    Is that lot zoned multi-family? Maybe they can’t put up an apartment building. I would check with city planning/zoning to see if you can be kept in the loop about what they are planning to do with the property. Sometimes owners get to do some strange things with property simply because the neighbors didn’t know what was happening and didn’t protest variances.

    Well, enjoy the improved view while it lasts!!

  18. 35

    fairegarden said,

    OMG is right! Like they say, be careful what you wish for. Or maybe it will be something nice and tasteful, but whatever happens, fertilize those cedars! The house behind us burned down a few years ago. We couldn’t believe they rebuilt, not tearing the whole thing down. Now it is foreclosed and empty, after being completely redone. The Leyland Cypress hedge is finally tall enough, and the arborvitae, the same thing you call cedars I believe, nearly high enough to block it. Thank goodness your house was not damaged by a stray spark.

    • 36

      Frances, I cannot believe we are/were in the same position. I was very lucky with the house, I was fretting the whole time, worse as we were in Toronto, instead of being there.
      I am off to buy some manure and fertilize those cedars!!!!!

  19. 37

    teza said,

    I didn’t know you smoked! LOL! So long as nobody was hurt. Perhaps you will win the lottery and will be able to buy the property and dream of dreams expand the gardens! I know…. its enough work with KG. Perhaps it will remain vacant for a time and you can partake in some guerilla gardening – spring and fall bulbs etc…

    • 38

      I wondered if that would be going through anyones mind, I should have known it would be you, lol. I would so love to buy the lot and extend the garden, but I do not think the insurance company gives you the money without you rebuilding, too bad.

  20. 39

    That is incredible! I am glad no one was hurt and that your own property was undamaged. Maybe the apartments will have an attractive, low profile. Hope! Or maybe somebody will build a beautiful mansion there, who knows! Let us know when you find out what the plans are.

    • 40

      Deborah, that is what I am hoping as well. If they keep to the same height, (I am used to it), it would be a bit of a blessing, they would have to look better. I will keep you posted.

  21. 41

    Barbara H. said,

    Amazing, amazing, amazing.

    Put the Law of Attraction into action – visualize what you want to see next door! And….check the zoning laws….

  22. 43

    lisa said,

    What a terrible tragedy for your neighbors. I’m certain that they could use some extra compassion right about now. Have people been helping them out? Do they have a place to live? Money to help them relocate?

    • 44

      lisa, it was very sad. Most did not have content insurance, so they lost everything. The landlord is rehousing them, and Red Cross gave them emergency clothes and food. A lot of people have been donating to a bank account for them and the neighbourhood is having a fundraising barbeque on June.

  23. 45

    I hope they build something you like. If not, remember where you hid the petrol and matches!

  24. 47

    Joy said,

    Deborah my head and body have been in garden mode all week so I am trying to catch up with posts. What was Deliverance House exactly ? a family home ? .. Try not to stress over what the new building will be .. it is out of your hands .. tell Ian to stop poking you with a stick !! LOL ..

    • 48

      Joy, I should have been more clear in the post. There were 11 units in the house behind us. It had orginally been a single family home, and added on to over the years, piece by piece.

  25. 49

    OMG is right! What are the chances you just posted a picture of that crazy house and now it’s gone! I do feel bad for those impacted, but maybe something pretty will be put up in it’s place?

  26. 51

    Wendy said,

    wow. I remember you just posted about hiding the deliverance house (though I didn’t know you were calling it that!! 🙂 ).

    How scary and sad.

    There was a deliverance house close to my parents that burned down. They ended up building almost the exact same house, but covered in siding. I’ll be hoping for a cute 2 story for you!

  27. 53

    Jen said,

    Wow, Deborah, that is just shocking!

    Keep us posted on what happens there.


  28. 55

    Oh Deborah it must have been such a shock to you – in one way its probably a relief to you that the old building is gone now. Hopefully the planning authorities will not allow anything that won’t fit in with the local area. It takes time for a rebuild so by the time something else is built there it will give your plants a chance to get even bigger.

    On another note – its a small world isn’t it when it comes to shipbuilding – my dh grandfather came from Glasgow Clyde shipyard to work on the titanic and then went back to Glasgow with a wife – our families have gone back and forth ever since – we truely are “UlsterScots” in our family. I would not be surprised if they had known each other!

    • 56

      Rosie, I have to check with the city, I am really hoping for a height restriction, and of course, that it takes them years to rebuild.
      The grandfathers very well might have known each other, small world isn’t it!

  29. 57

    Racquel said,

    I hope you don’t get stuck with an apartment building as your backdrop. Yuck! 😦

  30. 59

    Grace said,

    Well Deborah, My fingers are crossed for a respectful rebuild. And for a super fast vertical spurt of your bordering plants.

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