Residents upset over flooding issue

Councillor Michael Thompson

Councillor Michael Thompson is not pleased with what city planners are telling him at Scarborough Community
Council on Feb. 12

When the 43 Division police station was erected at 4331 Lawrence Ave. E. a few years ago, residents expected it to have a big effect on the neighbourhood.

One of those effects couldn’t have been predicted by anyone – flooding.

There are two large drainage pools on the property that are supposed to fill with excess water during storms and then drain into the ground. The problem is these pools don’t seem to drain very well and there was no overflow system included in the design. Since the construction of the building, residents living directly behind the property on Melchior Drive and Woodgarden Crescent have experienced flooding in their backyards that has turned some of their lawns into soggy mush.

They feel flawed drainage systems on the police station property are the cause.

“It’s terrible when this happens,” said a senior couple who live on Melchior. “Everyone here is worried about what is going to happen when all this snow melts.”

Compounding the problem is the fact another large plot of land behind the police station is now being developed by The Daniels Corporation into affordable housing.

The land used to be owned by the city and was first meant 40 years ago for an expressway through Scarborough, but now has been approved for development. Not only is there flooding, but the landscape has changed drastically.

“There used to be a large green area behind our house. It was just beautiful,” said the elderly residents that live on Melchior. “There used to be flowers, beautiful trees, and even deer living there.

“Now, all the trees are gone, it looks awful, and it smells terrible.”

Ron Moeser, city councillor for Ward 44, has always opposed development of this land because of the number of trees that had to be cut. In the end, he reached a compromise on building the police station only if it was designed with the environment in mind.

Ironically, the city “tried to go green” with the design of the 43 Division station, but this plan backfired, he said.

“Apparently there was a miscalculation,” Moeser said. “But when you have neighbours that back on [to the property], it doesn’t take much of a miscalculation to have an impact.”

Moeser confirmed there has been some flooding and he is very concerned about what might happen when spring arrives and the snow melts. The city does not want to be held accountable for what they feel was a mistake on the engineers’ part in developing the property of the police station.

“We are asking the engineers to go back and fix it at their own expense,” Moeser said. “Of course, we might have to twist their arm a little.”