Niagara-on-the-Lake yanks appeal over the long-standing Randwood Estate lawsuit


Published February 16, 2023 at 10:24 am

Anyone with $19 million burning a hole in their pocket can buy the Randwood Estate should they choose.

Is the ongoing controversy over the Randwood Estate in Niagara-on-the-Lake between the town and the owner over? Probably not, as it’s been lingering for years now.

However, the town has withdrawn its appeal at Provincial Court that the property has contravened the Ontario Heritage Act by altering the property following what they say was unauthorized tree cutting.

That said, the property and its massive 13-acre lot (144, 176, and 200 John St. East and 588 Charlotte St.) appear to be in a stalemate at the moment.

It was purchased for $8 million in 2016 by developer Benny Marotta who wanted to build a six-storey hotel and convention centre with two levels of underground parking.

The town and residents fiercely opposed his plans, and in 2020, with neither side coming to an agreement, the property was put back on the market for $19 million. Thus far, there have been no takers.

Niagara-on-the-Lake withdrew its lawsuit regarding the Heritage Act because the matter dragged along for a long period of time and, in the end, decided that their “financial resources are better used in the interests of the public, and (so) the appeal will not proceed.”

However, while the town is stepping away from Randwood, it added, “The public may be assured that the Town continues to value the conservation of heritage resources and will make the most of opportunities through Heritage Act and Planning Act applications.”

The land and estate have a fascinating history, with the house originally built in 1825. It served as a family home and a summer home and was even used by the Niagara Institute.

Marotta is known in Niagara-on-the-Lake not just as a developer but also as a co-founder of the hugely-popular Two Sisters Vineyards with his two daughters, Melissa and Angela Marotta.

A few years back, Marotta said he was tired of bickering with the town, threw the property back on the market and suggested he was turning his attention back to the wine industry.

The estate is presently empty, so an enterprising videographer found his way inside and taped the interior of the massive mansion. The video below is his excursion but advance warning; there are racial slurs and profanities written on the floor by vandals who have found their way inside.

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising