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Toronto man ordered to remove $30,000 boat-treehouse

By
Daniel Uria

TORONTO, April 20 (UPI) -- The city of Toronto has ordered a local man to remove a large boat-shaped treehouse, which he built in his backyard several years ago.

John Alpeza told CP24 that he built the boat-treehouse for his children three years ago and hadn't received any complaints until he decided to make some upgrades to the structure.

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"Only after I changed the walls from pressure-treated to cedar and made it a lot nicer, a lot more expensive, that's when the complaint was filed," he said.

Alpeza spent a total of $30,000 to construct the 108-square-foot ship, which also featured retractable windows, swing ropes and various entrances.

"It's nice to give the kids their own space, let them make their own little world. Imagination is so important. They can use that to play, instead of video games again," he told the CBC. "They have a great time."

He was ordered to have the boat removed after being informed that paperwork he had filed last fall had been rejected, but has vowed not to take it down.

"A lot of love and hard work has been put into this thing and to me this is not just a battle about a treehouse, this a battle of a right of a family to be able to live freely in your own backyard, to be able to live in peace and in privacy and to have our time to try to live a healthy lifestyle," he said.

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Word of the incident reached Toronto Mayor John Tory who tweeted about Alpeza's treehouse and said he would investigate the situation.

"Looking into [treehouse] issue," he wrote. "Impressive play space & built with great intentions but safety & neighbourhood impacts have to be considered."

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