Corp Comm Connects

This city street has half a dozen pedestrian tripping hazards in less than 50 metres. Some have been there for more than a year
June 17, 2021
Jack Lackey

Straying onto the paving stones that surround the sidewalk on Kenneth Avenue could be a big mistake for people who aren’t paying attention.

They may find themselves stumbling over collapsed sections of decorative brick, or possibly snagging a foot on one of two sawed-off sign posts that protrude from the pavers.

It adds up to a trip-hazard nightmare on Kenneth, just north of Sheppard Avenue, where a half-dozen problems have developed along a 50-metre stretch of sidewalk.

Mr. Pip Wedge, with whom I’ve had a cordial email relationship since I misidentified him as a she (he feigned outrage but was a good sport about it) in 2016, keeps me apprised of problems near Sheppard Avenue and Yonge Street.

He sent me a note recently that said “you know me well enough by now to know I wouldn’t bother you with trivia,” and went on to detail the situation on Kenneth, not far from where he lives.

“The sidewalk on the east side of Kenneth has for well over a year now had at least three holes in the brick laid sidewalk,” he said. “They’re marked with orange cones, and no work whatever has been done to them for a very long time.

“The sidewalk in the area is somewhat uneven, but these holes have no obvious purpose and I believe them to be worthy of your attention and some long overdue remedial action on the part of whoever is responsible.”

I went there and found four places where the decorative brick on either side of the sidewalk was collapsing -- two had big holes in them -- but only two were marked with pylons.

In the same area, two sign posts had been cut off, but one is a couple inches higher than the surrounding brick. It was painted orange to draw attention to it, but is still a hazard.

STATUS: I alerted the city to it and got a reply from transportation services that said: “City staff investigated the locations on Friday with an aim to make them safe and passable.

“Staff have placed safety barrels/pylons on the affected areas to make pedestrians aware of the potential hazards and are now working with other city staff to coordinate next steps as well as a plan to make more significant repairs as soon as possible.

“Residents are reminded to contact 311 and file a service request if they observe damaged or potentially hazardous areas of the public right of way.”