A pair of aging water pipes burst at key downtown Toronto intersections overnight, leaving city crews scrambling to repair the damage throughout the day.
Mario Carognale of Toronto Water reports that there were six water main breaks throughout the city last night, including at the University Avenue and Dundas Street West intersection, as well as at the intersection of Bay Street and Richmond Street West.
In the Bay and Richmond case, the intersection turned into a small lake when the water main broke. It resulted from a break in a six-inch pipe that is connected to a water main that was installed in 1920.
And while the mercury dipped below the freezing mark last night, Carognale said the pipes broke because they are old and not because of the temperature swing.
"Corrosion causes the pipe to get weaker and weaker and weaker, eventually resulting in a failure," he told CBC News on Tuesday.
Carognale said the city has a capital program that addresses the rehabilitation of water mains in the city.
But Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong says that the city's $1.5-billion budget is not enough to keep up with repairs to aging infrastructure, so the city is proposing another nine per cent hike to water bills.
"We've been increasing the water rate for the last nine years — nine per cent — and we're doing that because we have to keep up," said Minnan-Wong.
The water budget and proposed increase will go before council in December.