A few years ago, I was driving down the road in my green Honda Accord when I saw an odd looking piece of construction equipment lying on the shoulder.
I thought to myself, “This must be an oil company”.
A few weeks later, I got a call from the owners of a large asphalt driveway that had just been demolished.
The contractor was asking for a fee of $400,000 to demolish a driveway that would have been the last remaining remaining paved road in the neighborhood.
“I had to say no,” I said to the contractor, as he walked away from me.
I never got a reply.
The contractor, a contractor by trade named George, is one of the most recognizable names in the construction industry.
He’s also a big guy who was on my radar a couple years ago when I began looking for a contractor to help build the new downtown Toronto-based PATH tunnel.
“He’s a very experienced guy,” said Ira Katz, a consultant who has worked with George on many projects.
George, however, had other ideas.
“George told me, ‘I can’t do this, I don’t want to do this.
This is ridiculous,'” Katz said.
“So I went to the office and we discussed it.”
George said he was worried about being fired for the job because he didn’t have the proper paperwork to get the $400K.
“It would have cost me about $10,000,” George told me.
The owner of the house that George lived in told me that the road was not paved and that he and his wife could not afford to replace it.
So, they decided to make a decision and sell their home and take the asphalt road with them.
They bought it, along with several other properties that George owned.
George told Katz that his family had been “a little overzealous” when he bought the road, and that the contractor told him the road had already been paved and had been cleared for new construction.
“We were pretty disappointed, but at the same time I was very happy,” George said.
George said the contractor called him after the deal was done to offer him the job and told him he was “worth” the money.
“They said, ‘You have to do it.
We will get you a big contract,'” George said, adding that he had no idea if he’d actually get the job.
“That’s when it started to get complicated.”
George told The Globe and Mail that the contract he got was a six-figure offer.
Katz said that George’s deal, though, was for $400k and the contract was a “no-show” at the time he first called.
He said George had already made several phone calls and “he was kind of shocked” by the offer.
George told Katz he did not want to leave his wife and two young children behind.
“She had a job to do and I was a young man,” George explained.
“My wife and kids were not going to be affected.”
The projectGeorge said that the deal came after a series of phone calls from Katz and other city officials.
“The city wanted me to sign a $200,000 contract,” George recalled.
“If I hadn’t signed it, they’d have had to pay me.”
George, who lives in the same town as Katz and the family, said that when the contract went on the books, he and the construction company “were kind of in the dark” about what was going on.
“After a couple of weeks, the city started sending us the contract,” he said.
But, he said, it wasn’t until the next day that they found out the real reason they couldn’t get the work done.
“One of the problems was they were not being paid,” George remembered.
George had an assistant working for him, but he said they “didn’t know what they were doing.”
George told The Toronto Star that when they contacted Katz, the company told them that “the contract was not completed.”
Katz, however said that was not the case.
He explained to The Globe that the city had not paid the contractors, but the contractors had already paid for the road.
Katz told The Star that the contractors did not actually have the contract and therefore had no way to track the progress of the road as it was being constructed.
Katz would not provide further details about the project.
“There were many times we didn’t know how long it would take to get it done,” Katz told the newspaper.
“Once it got done, it took about three months to get all the materials for it.”
The contractor had also asked for $100,000 for the project, which would have paid for a new road and $200K for a road foundation.
“And that’s just to get rid of the driveway,” George continued.
“You can’t go to the local contractor and say, ‘Here’s the $100K you need to pay for this road.’ “