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July 26, 2009
Media Advisory: Toronto continues work to repair sinkholes on Finch Avenue West
City of Toronto crews continue to conduct repair work to Finch Avenue West between Dufferin Street and Wilmington Drive (east of Dufferin Street).

The roadway has been damaged as a result of sinkholes that formed on Friday night and Saturday. Work to assess and repair the roadway began immediately after the sinkholes formed and crews have remained on the scene since Friday night.

Mayor David Miller and officials from the City of Toronto Transportation and Water services will be available to speak to media concerning the repair work to be undertaken.

City of Toronto media briefing:

Date: TODAY, July 26
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Dufferin Street and Finch Avenue West
NOTE: Media should drive east along Finch Avenue West and stop on the east side of the Dufferin and Finch Avenue intersection to be escorted over to the scene. No electrical connection or plug-in will be available. Media must follow all instructions of City officials while on scene.

The sinkhole is approximately 5 meters in diameter and is approximately 14 meters deep but affects a much larger area underneath the roadway. A second sinkhole has also formed immediately to the east of the original sinkhole. The second sinkhole is 5 meters in diameter and approximately 3 meters deep.

As excavation of the site continued yesterday during which engineers determined that the repairs required would be extensive. Officials believe that a leak in a 450mm storm drain that is far below the surface of the street is the underlying cause of the sinkhole. When a storm drain of this size leaks, the underlying substructure of the street begins to weaken and wash away; eventually causing the roadway to sink into the ground.

The heavy rains yesterday, combined with the slope of the roadway (and therefore the depth at which the pipe may be located) have combined to make planning the required repairs more challenging. The location of the pipe is deeper than 15 meters below the surface of the street. Given the connection of the storm drain to a major culvert, City staff will be coordinating the repair plan with the Toronto and Regional and Conservation Authority and officials will also be calling in additional engineers to conduct borehole testing to further assist in determining the extent of the repairs that may be necessary.

Repairs will likely take an extended period of time and will be ongoing during the week. As a result, residents and motorists in the area are advised to leave extra time if travelling through the area.

The following traffic management actions have been taken:

- Finch Avenue West will close at Bathurst Street to all but local traffic.

- Eastbound Finch remains closed at Dufferin Street.

- Traffic signal timing has been adjusted in the surrounding area to permit the best possible flow of traffic.

- Advisory Signs for motorists have been installed.

- All emergency services are aware of the repairs and road closures and are making appropriate adjustments to their routings.

- TTC has adjusted its routing.

Media contact:

Kevin Sack (
Director, Strategic Communications
City of Toronto
Phone 416-919-6500



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