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Sheppard Sinkhole Causes Traffic/TTC Havoc


Photo by Glenn Kapasky

In light of what happened on Sheppard Avenue yesterday, I sincerely regret using the phrase “floodgates” in the headline of yesterday’s lead post.

In any event, a broken watermain picked perhaps the worst spot in North York to collapse a road and sever a major arterial through the northern part of the city. A sinkhole beneath Sheppard Avenue west of Bathurst Street has closed the road between Bathurst and Sheppard.

As this is close to the bridge over the Don Valley ravine, cars and TTC vehicles will have to be diverted well out of their way in order to continue their journey. South of Sheppard Avenue, the closet street to run between Bathurst and Yonge is Wilson Avenue. It’s more likely that drivers will have to head north on Bathurst a whole kilometre, turning right onto Ellerslie Avenue and driving to Senlac before turning south to Sheppard. This adds almost two kilometers to one’s trip.

Sheppard West and York University Rocket buses are being diverted, although the TTC has not yet put up any notifications on its website of how the diversions will proceed. Car drivers and TTC patrons can expect these diversions to continue for several weeks until the sinkhole and the watermain are fixed.

(Update: 2:29 p.m.): The TTC has posted its official diversion; the details can be found here. 84 Sheppard West and 196 York University Rocket buses will divert in both directions via Bathurst, Ellerslie and Senlac. The notice suggests that Sheppard won’t reopen until August.

In other news, the Halton County Radial Railway museum has been slapped with a development charge of $94,000 which it must pay before it can add a $350,000 extension to an existing building. The museum has been feverishly raising funds for this major extension of their Carbarn Three, to house millions of dollars of historic railroad equipment that is currently exposed to the elements. The volunteer-run museum is still $100,000 short of the funds needed to complete the building, and the additional $94,000 charge is most certainly not welcome. The Toronto Star has more details.

The Town of Milton is the municipality levelling the development charge, and its mayor and a number of its councillors seem unwilling to waive the fee. The museum is being joined in its fight by former Ontario cabinet minister John Snobelen, who ironically sat on the Mike Harris cabinet when the province set the current rules around municipal development charges, which municipal officials claim leave their hands tied.

The museum is considering an appeal of these charges.

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