After nine years of maintenance, a Toronto train line closes for the weather

Open this photo in gallery This undated satellite image shows why the Toronto Transit Commission decided to close the stretch of Kensington Market streetcar line that ends at the 2nd Street station. NASA Earth Observatory/Handout via Reuters 2

There have been some wild adventures in this town: The foul smell of cigars and birdseed in January; the pot growing operation in a Downtown Toronto condo; the U-shaped photo of a man posted on Instagram, welcoming a young couple to Toronto and providing directions to his basement loft; “everyone gets the cannabis plants” being a theme phrase in gossip columns.

This one is probably not too great, unless you’re a commuter. That, at least, is the thinking of Metrolinx, Ontario’s regional transportation agency.

In a document sent to the Toronto Star this week, Metrolinx officials said “one of the most popular and iconic stretches of trail in Toronto is now closed indefinitely because of road works that were a one-time project that was completed several years ago.”

According to a spokeswoman for Metrolinx, the one-way trail closures on “Election Day” (Nov. 5) between Dufferin Street and Richcraft Mall coincided with roadwork that had already been scheduled to finish on Nov. 4. Metrolinx is now promising to move people to a different path.

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The agency said “at the peak of usage” the trail would often see 10,000 people going through, using a route that was managed by volunteers and four shelters.

“When the closed route was last opened on Nov. 18, 2016, that number was significantly reduced to about 1,400 users,” the spokeswoman wrote. The path, she added, was in operation as a streetcar route “to serve Scarborough as part of a larger transit network for much of its existence.”

“So even though it’s closed, it’s still a pretty significant opportunity, and we’re hoping that people find a different way into and out of the city,” she said.

Don’t expect Metrolinx to do much to encourage this, however. The agency has no Facebook or Twitter accounts.

The last time someone made a serious attempt to sell alcohol on this stretch of route, in 1988, was immediately after the Molson beer ad showed, as their full title of the campaign stated: “I’m a socialist, but I drink at night.” As Montreal’s Metro reported in the Canadian Press at the time, there were only a few steps and a flat tire on it to access:

People explained that it was actually one of the last accessible spots for downtown workers with access to the subway that night, going from Second Avenue N. down to the bridge over the 401 to The Mile End, which is just north of midtown.

Almost no one lived in The Mile End then.

A Metro report also noted that it was the only safety stop left for Lower Bloor and Bank Street, because the Bloor Street subway station was closed indefinitely after a deadly suicide in 1984.

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There’s no stopping there now.

And you might be wondering why a construction project from about nine years ago is suddenly opening the trail up.

Two groups of beavers are alleged to be wreaking havoc along Dufferin Street and in the course of working they have damaged a sewer pipe. That’s what Metrolinx is calling it, in a letter to city council.

We heard about a beaver mess at Richcraft Mall in April, but not that one.

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