Aging Water Mains Break Throughout the City Thanks to the Heat
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Aging Water Mains Break Throughout the City Thanks to the Heat

The weather doesn't care if it makes you late to work.

If you were headed across Sheppard Avenue West this morning during your commute, you were likely halted due to a gorging sinkhole in the middle of the street.

Or, perhaps, if you were downtown at Bloor and Dovercourt, you may have seen a flood of rushing water in the intersection.

The two are the latest in a series of water main breaks in Toronto. And according to the City, it’s all thanks to good old Mother Nature.

Water main breaks occur when the ground shifts with heat, causing older mains to crack under pressure. In the case of the Bloor and Dovercourt flood, a cast iron water main dating back to 1888 finally saw its day. “They’re very thick and generally last a very long time,” Toronto Water’s Bill Shae told CBC. “But when they crack, they crack big time.”

This is not unusual for the time of year, Shae adds. And it’s certainly not the worst of it: in May, a fire truck responding to water main break fell into a sinkhole when the ground around it collapsed. And last September, a sinkhole caused by a water main break damaged a dozen homes in the east end, leading Mayor John Tory to suggest the City needs more infrastructure funding.

Toronto sees about 1,100 water main breaks each year. North York, Scarborough, and Etobicoke experience the highest rates of breaks.

Meanwhile, the repairs on Bloor are expected to take all day. Thanks, summer!

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