Why these condo buyers never got their homes, or the equity

Katrina Dionello used to regularly drive by a construction site on busy Hazeldean Road in Ottawa’s suburban west end, and dream about one of the two-storey upper units in the future complex.

It was to be the teacher’s first time owning a home. She had a virtual Pinterest board of decorating ideas, and a stash of gift cards to home decor stores. Dionello used to boast to friends about how she had secured a condo in the summer of 2019, before the pandemic and before the housing market took off to record-high prices.

“Now I just feel sick,” Dionello said. She steers clear of the Stittsville area entirely.

Two and a half years after she handed over her hard-earned savings for the deposit, that money has been returned — plus an additional 40 cents on the dollar — as part of a bankruptcy process. Dozens like her had put

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