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Deadly pipe in sidewalk awaits unsuspecting pedestrians: The Fixer

A small piece of pipe sticking out of a North York sidewalk is a tiny, perfect tripping hazard.

There are at least 1,000 ways to stumble and fall, and a lot of the things that people trip over can be found in the nearly 8,000 kilometres of sidewalks maintained by the city.

It’s a lot to keep an eye on, especially with utilities always digging holes in them, along with all the other obstacles and hazards that inevitably find their way onto sidewalks.

Some are so small and inconspicuous they’re easily overlooked, but big enough to cause a calamity and maybe even break a toe or send somebody crashing to the ground.

Jerry Himelfarb sent us a note about just such a problem, a short length of pipe protruding from a sidewalk on the east side of Hove St., near Bathurst St. and Sheppard Ave.

“I’m sure someone’s foot will be damaged by this,” he said, noting that the pipe extends about an inch and a half above the sidewalk.

We went there and didn’t spot it at first, until we saw a small patch of weeds sprouting from a hole in the sidewalk. When we looked closely at it, we saw a short length of rusty pipe in the middle of them.

The pipe was completely camouflaged by the weeds, which we cleared away so pedestrians would have a better chance of seeing it before stumbling over it.

With the weather warming up, people are switching to summery footwear. It’s easy to imagine kids hiking along in flip-flops or sandals, with noses glued to their phones, oblivious to the sidewalk.

Stumbling over the pipe or even kicking it while wearing sandals could be the cause of a broken toe, or worse, if the victim tripped on it and went for a tumble.

STATUS: The pipe looked to us like it’s been there for years, and also to Norberto Santos, a field investigator with transportation services who was sent on Tuesday to check it out. “It’s surprising that no one reported it until now, it looks like it’s been there a while,” said Santos, who’s arranging to get rid of it.

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