Toronto

Water-main break opens huge east-end sinkhole, affects a dozen homes

Toronto Mayor John Tory says a water main break that caused a large sinkhole and damaged homes in the city's east end is an illustration that higher levels of government need to step up their funding.

Mayor John Tory says city needs more infrastructure funding

Paul Iordanidas was one of several homeowners on Rexleigh Drive to wake up Labour Day to a flooded home caused by a broken water main. (CBC)

Toronto Mayor John Tory says a water-main break that caused a large sinkhole and damaged homes in the city's east end is an illustration that higher levels of government need to step up their funding.

"This is the problem with the lack of funds we have, including support from the other governments to fix infrastructure," said Tory, who showed up at the site on Rexleigh Drive near St. Clair Avenue East and O'Connor Drive to see the damage himself. "Especially when it comes to things like water mains and sewers."

The mayor said Monday on Twitter that he would have "lots of questions tomorrow" about the breakage. 

Residents, who began phoning the city with complaints that basements were flooding around 7 a.m., estimated this was the seventh time in the last five years there has been similar damage in the area.

The water opened a sinkhole about three metres in diameter, flooded basements and left about a dozen homes without power, water or air-conditioning on one of the hottest days of the summer. 

"We heard the water coming into the house," said Paul Iordanidas. "And then of course we all panicked. We went downstairs, we saw a lot of water."

Thomas Xhaferi said there was about 18 centimetres of water in the basement, which his family had recently renovated at a cost of thousands of dollars. Now, he said, their lower level smells like a sewer.

Saman Tourasa complained that the food in his fridge was spoiling, while homeowner Shampa Shaha said she thought the problem had been fixed in June, when a sinkhole opened in the same spot. 

"I'm worried about safety for my kids and my property also," she said.

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