Saturday, July 14, 2007

Landslide at the Brick Works

Location of destabilized slope on the western edge of the Brick Works Ponds (click on map for a close-up)

I was passing by the Don Valley Brick Works on Friday. One of my favourite access points is from the Moore Park Ravine. As you come south along the Beltline Trail, there is an informal path that you can take to the north west corner of the Brick Works Quarry park. From here you can enter the pond area.

This time I skirted the western edge where another path takes you along the top of slope between Mud Creek and the ponds. I went this way because about three weeks ago I noticed a large amount of woody debris clogging the channel where Mud Creek flows. In addition the diversion pipe that lets water flow from Mud Creek into the upper pond in the quarry was almost completely silted up. I notified the city about the situation and left it there. The pipe was clogged up last year and they quickly unplugged it so I figured that similar action would be taken soon.

This time no such action has been taken. In fact the situation is much worse. The debris clogging the channel has now moved downstream and is clogging the storm drain. Debris litters the top of the bank where the creek has overflowed. On the quarry side water has flowed quite vigorously into the Brick Works. The slope, already shaky due to its shale makeup has partially collapsed. Parts of the remaining slope look very unstable and further collapse is imminent. Unless something is done soon the entire slope will collapse into a heap of rubble.

Also the diversion pipe is still silted up. Very little water flows into the ponds. With the dry weather we have been getting the past month the ponds are at the lowest level I have ever seen.

I called the city again and let them know about the situation. Hopefully something will be done because a bad situation has now gotten worse.

Diversion pipe completely silted up. The pipe is about 30 cm in diameter. Very little water gets through now.

Debris clogged storm drain. Water used to flow through here directly into the Don River during a rainstorm. Now it is overflowing into the upper pond.

Failed slope. The land here was once a planting site, now completely buried. Patio stones anyone?

Debris is now being washed into the ponds.

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