All the cards against her, Nan's still not leaving 100 Stanley
LONDON, ONT. -- Nan Finlayson is steadfast in her desire to save her heritage home, and the lavish gardens surrounding it at 100 Stanley St.
“I won’t leave,” she states, repeatedly, to CTV News.
The London senior, known to many as simply 'Nan,' has been in a five-year battle with City Hall to save her property, at the corner of Wharncliffe Road and Stanley Street.
It is needed to widen Wharncliffe beneath a rail underpass in her backyard.
Public support for Nan has grown since CTV News first shared her plight in 2015.
Yet the many petitions and neighbourhood rallies which followed have failed to stop her house from being expropriated by the city earlier this year.
Finlayson says the decision in January left her “bottomed out” and feeling “very flat."
Since then, she says there has been a string of developments and legal challenges.
For starters, a pricing battle. She says the offer for her home presented by City Hall in January was recently reduced by almost $100,000.
“I got the letter last week saying, no the compensation has been lowered, and that I was still going to have to be out on the first of October."
Finlayson has been fighting to extend the deadline to leave since a registered letter from the city arrived just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
It confirmed the city had taken ownership of her home through expropriation.
Now she says she feels like a squatter at 100 Stanley with few resources left in her cupboard to fight back.
Citing the poor real estate market due to the pandemic, she’s asked the city to delay her departure until November of this year or even March of 2021.
“Who knows if [with the impacts of the pandemic] the road-widening project will even go ahead?”
Either way, Finlayson says she has no plans to sign the final offer sheet, citing her long-held pledge to protect heritage and the environment.
“It’s because of what I believe, and I would be betraying what I believe if I sign and leave.”
While she says she understands those who say she’s impeding progress, she believes there are other way the project could be done without impacting her home, which is now technically already city property.
Garfield Dales, division manager of Transportation, Planning and Design, issued a statement to CTV News on Monday afternoon saying the city is moving ahead with the project.
It reads, in full:
"The City is moving forward with this project including the expropriation of property as approved by Council earlier in the year.
"Advance work such as utility relocations are planned for later this year with major construction to start in 2021.
"In order to ensure construction timelines can be achieved it is necessary to continue with the requirements of the Expropriations Act.
"The City of London is committed to a fair and equitable acquisition process, in accordance with the Expropriations Act, with all affected property owners. The City will continue to work with owners and their lawyers to address their concerns, in efforts to achieve amicable agreements.
"To protect the integrity of ongoing negotiations and the privacy of individual property owners we cannot comment on specific properties."