Another Beachway property sold - that's four in the past year. Latest went for $550,000

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 3, 2015


If you thought you had heard the end of the battle over what is going to happen to the 29 homes in the Beachway Park – think again.

The Regional announced that they have now managed to purchase four homes in the Beachway:
1011 Lakeshore Road which they bought close to a year ago, I09 Willow Avenue, 115 Willow Avenue which were estate sales and 1019 Lakeshore Road which was sold in April.

Beachway 109 Willow

Sold to the Region as part of estate sale; this unit was barely habitable. Nevertheless a princely price was paid for the house.

The two Willow residences were part of an estate sale; one of the houses was close to being uninhabitable.

The 1019 Lakeshore Road residence was owned by Burlington lawyer Katherine Henshell who was a candidate for the ward 1 seat in the last election. She fought a tough battle and managed to ruffle the feathers of the incumbent, Rick Craven, when she suggested his property be turned into a bird sanctuary. Craven nevertheless prevailed and remains the ward 1 council member.

Henshell said she arrived at the decision to sell after talking to Anne McIlroy, the planner who was retained by the Region to put together a draft design for a park which was shown to the public at a meeting last April.

Full view with Scobie

The public got its first look at what the Region had planned for the |Beachway – it was to be a public park with no homes in it. It was a long range plan – 20 years plus and was going to cost $51 million

Henshell says she talked with McIlroy, and asked if her instructions were to produce a plan with the homes in place and to produce another plan without the homes in place.

McIlroy Anne

Planner Anne McIlroy who has done a lot of work for the city of Burlington as well as the Region was retained by the Region to design a park for the Beachway.

Henshell says she was told that the instructions the planner was given were to produce just the one design. Henshell said she decided then that there was no point in holding out and that she didn’t think there was much hope.

Henshell had her law offices at the location but moved those office to the downtown core and was renting the property.

She apparently felt that now was a good time to take whatever price the Region was offering. She declined to say what that price was – but did say it was registered on title. The Gazette dug out that those numbers. Wow!

Beachway - 1011 and 1019 Lakeshore - both sold

The Henshell property is on the right. The property to the right was bought by the Region last year and was rented back to the sellers for a two year period.

Property transfer closed on August 12, 2015. Purchase price appears to be $550,000.00; the documents do not say if this figure includes all the other incentives; legal costs, moving costs, and a disturbance allowance which the Region has said in the past it would provide.  The Region’s appraisal report has not been made available.

The Henshell property was transferred from her name to a numbered company early 2015.

The net gain to Henshell over four years was $240,000, that’s a 65% increase over a four year period, which is well over the market price increase trend.

All these numbers are part of the public record.

The property sold for $90,000 in 1995
It sold next for $110,000 in 1999
Sold next for $310,000 in 2011 – Henshell was the buyer.
Sold next to a numbered company that Henshell is believed to have owned and the sold to the Region for $550,000.

Who ever said property was not the best possible investment in Burlington?

Assuming no significant improvements were made to the house, and if you use a 10% price increase year over year, that would bring the property up to about $450,000 from July 2011 when she bought it, to August 2015 when she sold to the Region.

It would be easy to conclude that the Region paid an extra $100,000 just to shut her up. Henshell appears to have done well on this transaction.
The Henshell lot is only 2,400sf, whereas the lot next door (1011 Lakeshore) is just over 8,000sf.


This was as close as Katherine Henshell got to representing the ward 1 seat she ran for in 2014.

Hensehll adds that she felt the instructions to produce just the one plan – one with no homes in place – came from the city. Nothing to that effect was ever said at any Burlington municipal meeting.  Her view was that if the city was not going to do anything to support the concept of homes in the park then it was wise to take the price being offered and get the equity out.

The Region is arguing that all sales are made on a willing seller/willing buyer basis.  The Region is cerainly a willing buyer with a cheque book that seems to have no limits.

The sellers have no one else to turn to – no one is going to buy the property knowing that the Region is going to hound them into selling by offering great prices.

While the willing buyer/willing seller case it put out – there isn’t a person in the Beachway who doesn’t believe the Region will expropriate when they get down to the last few homes – but that is 20 years away.

In May of this year Halton Regional Council approved the Burlington Beach Regional Park Master Plan which would turn the park into a signature waterfront destination, while preserving and protecting its rich and sensitive natural environment.

In a recent statement the Region said: “Implementation of the plan has begun and Regional staff is committed to ensuring you are kept informed about our progress on the work happening in your area. This letter is to inform you that as of October 1, 2015, Halton Region will commence the decommissioning and demolition work to remove all structures located on the following properties in Burlington: 109 Willow Avenue, 115 Willow Avenue and 1019 Lakeshore Road

Halton anticipates these works to be complete by December 31, 2015. As part of the demolition works, the site will undergo environmental remediation work to ensure that the properties are suitable for future park use. The environmental work includes: excavation of any contaminated soils and/or septic systems, filling and

An attractive.ell maintained home in the Beachway - the owner struggles to ensure that it will be xxx

An attractive, well maintained home in the Beachway – the owners struggle to ensure they will be able to remain in their home. The Region is said to have offered $750,00 for this property which has a smaller unit at the rear of the lot.

grading of the site (if necessary), and surface plantings to inhibit soil erosion and control surface drainage. This work will be complete during normal business hours to minimize disruption. The Region advised people in the community that all materials left on site from this work will be disposed of. “If you, or someone you know, are presently storing materials at these locations, we ask you to remove them at your earliest convenience.”

Full disclosure: The Gazette has retained Katherine Henshell to represent the company as defendants in the libel case with the Burlington air park.

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2 comments to Another Beachway property sold – that’s four in the past year. Latest went for $550,000

  • Katherine Henshell

    I ran for office because there are a lot of things that are wrong with Aldershot. ie. Lack of viable commercial infrastructure, lack of safe bike paths, lack of consistent and transparent decision making and, of course, the beach neighbourhood.

    After I made extensive interior and exterior renovations, I sold my interest in the beach residence to a numbered company in February 2015 for fair market value who in turn sold it to the Region 6 months later. Due to the City of Burlington’s beach master plan, in October 2013, I had already re-located my law office from the beach residence to downtown Burlington to ensure continuity of business.

    I was very sad to sell my beach residence as it allowed me to have access to the network of family oriented bike paths and it is a great neighbourhood. It was a great property with great potential. My neighbours were wonderful and there was a real sense of community in the area.

    My family decided that this property was going to be sold in February 2015 to a numbered company and it was the right decision for us.

    If you think that I am the type of person to back down – then you do not know me that well. 🙂

  • Maggie

    I was under the impression that Katharine Henshell decided to run for office because of the beach way issue which she delegated for. And now she throws in the towel because it is to her personal advantage. I can’t help but wonder what else she would have backed down on.