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Asphalt an ugly replacement for paving stones: The Fixer

It must be harder than a jigsaw puzzle to figure out how to put paving stones back in the holes from which they were removed.

How else to explain why they’re often replaced with asphalt, instead of returning the bricks to their point of origin?

Our Oct. 14 column was about missing paving stones next to the sidewalk at the northeast corner of Kingston Rd. and Morningside Ave., which were taken out to facilitate utility work.

The missing stones created a serious tripping hazard next to a busy sidewalk and TTC bus stop, and ended up scattered in a nearby parking area.

Transportation services told us they’d track down the utility that removed them and make sure they were put back, which happened within a couple weeks of our column.

But asphalt was used to fill in some of the gaps, which is often the case with missing paving stones, rather than completely restoring the decorative brick.

It’s likely that asphalt was used to replace the stones that disappeared in the parking lot. If they’d got to it sooner, maybe there would still have been enough to fill all the holes.

Our column last Tuesday was about potholes and crumbling pavement in the cycling lane on the north side of Wellesley St., just west of Parliament St.

When we checked it out we soon realized that the problem is caused by TTC buses constantly stopping at exactly the same spot to pick up and discharge passengers.

The city told us the situation will eventually be fixed by installing a concrete pad, similar to those used in places where bus knuckles persistently recur.

But we got a note Thursday from acting roads supervisor Paul Boulieris, saying that for now, the crumbling area has been patched with asphalt, to make it safer for bike riders.

And a resolution to the inoperative escalators at the Hayden St. entrance to the Yonge-Bloor subway station happened quickly, after we wrote about it Thursday.

The escalators, which had been out of service for at least a year, are part of the Xerox building on Bloor, and not the TTC’s. So we asked the property manager about them, but he wouldn’t talk to us.

We got a note Friday from the TTC, saying the escalators are suddenly back in service.

Funny how that works, eh?

What’s broken in your neighbourhood? Wherever you are in Greater Toronto, we want to know. To contact us, go to thestar.com/yourtoronto/the_fixer or call us at 416-869-4823 email jlakey@thestar.ca . To read our blog, go to thestar.com/news/the_fixer . Report problems and follow us on Twitter @TOStarFixer.