News   Jun 14, 2024
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Toronto Hydro aging infrastructure

Given the ongoing vandalism of North Toronto by Toronto Hydro, where entire streets have seen their utility pole numbers double (and in places trebled) with no discernible end in sight, I would not be opposed to some change in how this company is run. They are an agency that seems completely unaccountable, and the cumulative experience of their stonewalling and incompetence during the Fleet, St. Clair, Bloor, and Roncesvalles rebuilds (and their refusal to contemplate large-scale utility burial as a result) renders them a prime target for whomever is elected mayor. I'm not saying privatize it, but its reliance on 19th century frontier town infrastructure and aesthetic backwardness is an embarrassment and has to stop if this city is ever to attain an attractive public realm. And don't even get me started on the rusted out poles that litter the city.
I agree with much of what you say, my opinons are based on many years in the engineering department of a well known Telephone company here in Toronto trying to co-ordinate projects with a utility that just didn't care about esthetics, cost or disruptions to the streetscape.
To be fair, the usual method of replacing pole lines is to place the new poles beside the old ones, transfer the wires and transformers to the new poles and then remove the old poles a whole street at a time. This system probably explains the temporary doubling of poles on your street, your problem is the time taken to complete the project which is often months rather than days. The front street hydro poles etc. were replaced on my street this past year, what a travesty of waste, hordes of trucks and employees (note I didn't describe all the participants as workers) often on weekends on overtime.
 
Not quite sure where to put this but ...

Toronto Hydro are working all over the City, changing the 'lids' of many of their manholes. The procedure is that a crew removes the concrete around the old cover, removes the old cover and installs a new one. The only difference seems to be that the new one has what looks like a latch. They are doing one outside my windows today, 4 guys, pneumatic drills, an excavator and a police car - so far. This is clearly not an inexpensive process and once the new cover is placed they will, based on other locations, put temporary asphalt and (eventually) new concrete. Anyone know why they are doing this to what must be thousands of manhole covers, most of which look fine to me?
 
Not quite sure where to put this but ...

Toronto Hydro are working all over the City, changing the 'lids' of many of their manholes. The procedure is that a crew removes the concrete around the old cover, removes the old cover and installs a new one. The only difference seems to be that the new one has what looks like a latch. They are doing one outside my windows today, 4 guys, pneumatic drills, an excavator and a police car - so far. This is clearly not an inexpensive process and once the new cover is placed they will, based on other locations, put temporary asphalt and (eventually) new concrete. Anyone know why they are doing this to what must be thousands of manhole covers, most of which look fine to me?
Ah! Perhaps that i what I have occasionally seen at night on Queen Street on the east side of downtown recently. I notice the police car with lights on and think it's the regular Queen & Sherbourne shenanigans, but then I see the work vehicles with it, and they have been slowly making their way east along the street a block at a time for the past two weeks, showing up to work maybe once or twice per week usually after 9:00 p.m. or so.
 
Ah! Perhaps that i what I have occasionally seen at night on Queen Street on the east side of downtown recently. I notice the police car with lights on and think it's the regular Queen & Sherbourne shenanigans, but then I see the work vehicles with it, and they have been slowly making their way east along the street a block at a time for the past two weeks, showing up to work maybe once or twice per week usually after 9:00 p.m. or so.
Most likely, it seems to be happening all over - was it mandated by some new safety rule? was it just someone's bright idea? how much will it cost?
 

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