Bronfmans fight to save fencing

One of Canada’s wealthiest families is asking Toronto city hall to change its mind and let stand most of the fortress-like fencing around a Forest Hill mansion hit by a $1-million burglary in 2008.

In May, the Etobicoke-York community council voted unanimously to reject media mogul Paul Bronfman’s application for a retroactive exemption from Toronto’s two-metre height restriction on residential fences.

After several neighbours complained the wrought iron and wire fences are an eyesore built in defiance of city rules, the committee ordered Bronfman to tear down the offending portions immediately.

Almost two months later, the fences around 40 Burton Rd. still stand guard, untouched.

Jane Pepino, a lawyer for the Bronfmans, said the family has submitted to the city a revised application for exemption that would see it tear down only the illegal fencing that abuts the properties of two neighbours who complained — financier Joe Shlesinger and George Friedmann, owner of the Windsor Arms hotel.

The other neighbours adjacent to 40 Burton, in the Bathurst Street-St. Clair Avenue West area, have said they don’t mind the barriers, Pepino said.

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