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Falling Slab Closes King Street


Photo by Steve Russell of the Toronto Star.

During yesterday’s stormy weather, a large marble tile detached from the First Canadian Place skyscraper and fell sixty stories, fortunately landing on the third storey roof rather than on the sidewalk or King Street. Concerned that other tiles could also fall, authorities closed the streets around First Canadian Place to cars, transit vehicles and pedestrians.

The King streetcar was forced to divert in both directions, with westbound cars operating via Church, Wellington and York while eastbound cars had to use Spadina and Queen before finding their way back to King Street via Church. Hundreds of commuters faced and still face lengthy delays between the diversions and traffic disruption through the downtown.

The closures also disrupted the 6 Bay bus and the premium express routes that run along Adelaide Street. The increased traffic congestion is also disrupting and delaying service on Queen Street.

Investigations continue to ensure that the public is no longer at serious risk of being hit by falling slabs of marble. The Star reports that these investigations could close as early as noon today, but we will keep you posted.

Passengers and drivers alike are advised to continue to leave themselves extra time in getting home. This is one of those days when patience isn’t just a virtue, it is the only means of survival.

Further details can be read in the Toronto Star.

(Update: 17:06): The Star is reporting that Adelaide and Bay streets have reopened, but King remains closed as inspections on the marble tiles of First Canadian Place continue. King Street may remain closed to pedestrians, transit vehicles and cars for days.

Riders have complained about a lack of information about these diversions. Although information about the surface diversions scrolled along the bottom of the TTC’s OneStop subway advertising displays, as of the time of this update, the news about this service disruption still hasn’t appeared on the TTC’s website.