Electrical connection in Etobicoke front yard is a mystery

Electrical connection in Etobicoke front yard is a mystery

How do you figure out who owns a small electrical thingy sticking out of the boulevard on an Etobicoke residential street?

That’s a question often asked by Peter Granger about the wiring apparatus, surrounded by fibreglass pipe, in front of his home on Dalegrove Crescent, near Martin Grove Road and Eglinton Avenue.

After making multiple calls to 311, he sent me a note about it, along with a photo, saying, “here is an interesting and unusual challenge for you, identify the phenomenon shown on the photograph and have it fixed.”

The photo shows a small metal plate with five electrical connections on it. Wires leading into the ground are attached to two of the connections, while a short, circular piece of wire is affixed to the same two connections.

It is enclosed in a fibreglass pipe that protrudes about one foot above the ground. The pipe has no identifying markings that provide clues as to what it is or who’s responsible for it.

“This used to be flush with the ground and we paid no attention to it,” said Granger. “It was left sticking up like this when they (installed new curbs and sidewalks) on our street three years ago.

“It is a four-inch pipe with a cover that comes off easily. You lift the cover and see electrical wire connections.

“A few days ago a dog’s leash became entangled around the pipe and the dog ran away with it. Over the past three years my neighbours and I have called 311 at least 10 times and nothing has happened.”

I’ve seen just about everything used to provide residential telecom service by utilities, but I’ve never seen anything like this thing.

STATUS: My guess — and it is entirely guesswork — is that it has something to do with telecom service, mostly provided by Bell and Rogers. I sent notes to both. They dispatched personnel to check it out, with both replying that it has nothing to do with them. I asked Rogers if their tech person has any idea what it is. The answer was startling and didn’t add up: “I followed up with him and he thinks it could potentially be related to the water system.” I’m asking readers to closely examine the photo and let me know what they think it is. The more sleuths, the better.

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What’s broken in your neighbourhood? Wherever you are in Greater Toronto, we want to know. Email jlakey@thestar.ca or follow @TOStarFixer on Twitter

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