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Hole next to sidewalk is more dangerous than it looks: The Fixer

Some problems are a lot more dangerous than they look, like a hole next to a sidewalk that can’t be seen until someone has stepped in it.

Justin Pozin sent us a note about an encounter that his 6-year-old daughter had with a camouflaged hole while walking along the south side of Lord Seaton Dr., just east of Yonge St.

Drivers who head north on Yonge to get to Highway 401 might recognize Lord Seaton as the street that veers off to the right from the on-ramp to the eastbound lanes of the 401.

“I’ve noticed this hole in the sidewalk for over two months now and am not sure what created it,” said Pozin, adding that she badly scraped her leg.

“Unfortunately my 6-year old daughter, Ella, fell through it on a walk home from the York Mills subway station on the evening of August 19. Ella is over 4 feet tall and she fell in all the way to her knee. In fact it was hard to even pull her up!

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“In addition to being deep, the hole is long — slightly longer than my size 13 shoes, in fact. Although it has been over a month since the incident I checked the other day and the hole is still there. There are no pylons placed at it or boards over it.”

We went there and searched high and low before we finally spotted a long, narrow crevice next to the sidewalk, mostly covered by grass, which leads to a much larger hollow area.

For children or particularly pets, the hole has the potential to swallow a small leg and the foot attached to it, while the rough edge of the concrete sidewalk would certainly cause some nasty scrapes.

While we were there, we talked to a woman who lives nearby and was walking two small dogs on leashes. She said one of her dogs also stepped in the hole while sniffing around and limped away on a sore leg.

It is so well-hidden by grass growing up to the edge of the sidewalk that it’s almost impossible to see, which makes it much more of a danger than many larger holes than can be seen and avoided.

STATUS: We’ve asked transportation services if it can mark the hole and cover it right away, until it can be properly filled.

What’s broken in your neighbourhood? Wherever you are in Greater Toronto, we want to know. Send an email to jlakey@thestar.ca. Report problems and follow us on Twitter @TOStarFixer.