Everyone in this neighborhood votes Liberal or NDP, thinks Obama is the Messiah, recycles religiously, and believes they are enlightened and compassionate:
“The castle house” is quirky and charming and evocative of a bygone era, and Brown, an artist, loves the Beach in significant part because of its quirks and charm and remnants of the past. She has lived on Beech Ave. for 15 years — 10 at 205, five next door — and likes it the way it is.
She was alarmed, therefore, when she saw a May 7 Globe and Mail article that described the Teehans’ plans [to make their home wheelchair accessible]. The article, prompted by Geoff Teehan’s blog, was accompanied by renderings of a blocky 2,250-square-foot contemporary home.
The article discussed Melissa Teehan’s condition [she is a quadroplegic]. Brown nonetheless contacted Councillor Sandra Bussin to register her disapproval.
“When you go up against something like that, it’s very awkward,” Brown says. “Of course it is. But I haven’t launched a campaign to fight this man and his wife. My heart goes out to them and their situation; I’m empathetic to the family. I just don’t think the two issues are the same issues. I’m not fighting to prevent her from something, even though they’ve been clear they’d like to build this house to help her with access because of her paralysis. I’m trying to preserve a home that adds character and beauty to my neighbourhood for future generations to enjoy. So: I don’t wish them any harm. I just want to protect that house.”
Brown repeatedly expresses an appreciation for the Teehans’ challenges. Yet she also says she believes Geoff Teehan has exploited Melissa’s disability to win support.
Asked for her age as a reporter leaves her own century-old house, she says she is 44. Then she adds, smiling: “I don’t have a disability. Sorry. If I did, maybe I could use that, too.”
Among the Teehans’ critics is Kirstin Campbell, a resident of the house decades ago. Campbell, who now lives in Germany, set up a blog entitled “204 Beech Ave, Save It!” She temporarily shut it down after it was flooded by critical posts from Geoff Teehan’s Twitter followers, whom he egged on.
The second most important thing to remember is that property rights are not recognized in the Canadian Charter.