Park’s barrier repair still stalled

An extension to a barrier blocking a 20-metre drop in Botany Hill Park meant to be done a week ago should now be completed in a few days if all goes well, a park official says.

Bill Harding, the manager of parks for east Scarborough says the long delay is still because of difficulty getting the safety clearances needed to start digging holes for the new fence posts.

Repairs to a barrier in Botany Hill Park are still stalled, leaving
easy access to the edge of a dangerous drop.

“We don’t think there’s really any hydro or gas or anything there but you never know,” he said Nov. 7. “We’re not allowed to dig until we get those clearances.”

Getting those clearances is likely taking so long because of the huge amount of construction going on in Toronto, Harding says.

Clearances for all construction, both public and private, go through the same people and granting clearance for the fence probably isn’t a top priority, he added.

Also, the contractors fixing the barrier aren’t city workers so they can’t be pressured to come right away, Harding said.

“If we had our own staff doing that, we could do it quite quickly, but because we can’t really force these people to come, it’s very difficult,” he said.

But, the repairs should be swift once clearance is granted, Harding said.

“As soon as we can get those clearances, the fence will go up,” he said. “We’ve got everything ready to go.”

The fence, located behind the park’s parking lot off Orton Park Road near the tennis courts, now has a large gap to one side that makes it easy to walk to the edge of the drop.

Caution tape warning people away from the space has now been torn down.

Harding said the new piece of fence probably won’t keep everyone away but it will make them more aware of the risk the bluff poses.

“If we extend the fence and put another sign there, we’re warning people of danger and really that’s all we can do,” he said. “We can’t stop people from doing what they want to do.”

The bluff itself, damaged by severe erosion along Highland Creek has been strengthened by construction efforts to repair the damage. Even with recent rain, the slope remains stable, a city construction official says.