Couple worries new parkway will surround their home
A husband and wife living in the Spring Garden neighbourhood of Windsor are worried their house could soon be the only residential property left in an area that is to be dominated by a new superhighway.
Gidget Couvillion said all her neighbours' houses have been bought up by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO), which needs the land in order to build its new Windsor-Essex Parkway.
The parkway will connect Highway 401 to the U.S. Interstate system by way of a new border crossing in west Windsor. It will include a six-lane freeway, a four-lane service road network and 11 tunnels.
Couvillion said the MTO has left her and her husband in the lurch. The couple received two letters from the ministry. The first said their land on Lamont Street near Huron Church Road would be expropriated, but the second said their property isn't needed.
"First, they want to buy it; then, they don't want to buy it," she said Thursday.
"They're buying everybody around us, and they've got it all staked out, and they're telling us they don't need us. There's something wrong here."
The MTO told the couple the first letter was sent in error and that it was meant for the previous owner of their home.
The Couvillions have lived in their home for eight years.
A map of the project from last year shows the Couvillions' lot intact but homes across from them gone.
The MTO has said it needs to buy up 900 properties for construction of the parkway. As of Nov. 13, it said it had reached amicable agreements with 350 property owners.
Couvillion said she's anxious to sell her home and move away. Neither she nor her husband work because of disabilities.
MTO officials said the ministry doesn't comment on individual cases, but it will consider exceptional circumstances on a case-by-case basis. It is planning to hold an information session for people affected by the the appropriation on Dec. 3.