Sinkhole is so deep this man can stand in it belly-deep

Sinkhole is so deep this man can stand in it belly-deep

We always knew the day would come when a big hole in the road would open up and devour somebody.

It has finally happened, but the victim asked for it. In fact, he couldn’t resist sticking his head into the jaws of the hole, and then lowering himself into it, just to see how it felt.

“It looked like I could just fit in there, so I tried it,” said Alfred Engerer, who sent us several photos of himself wedged belly-deep in a sinkhole on Galley Ave., near Queen St. W. and Roncesvalles Ave. in the Parkdale area.

Readers have sent us some incredible pictures over the years, but the ones from Engerer, a well-known glass sculptor, are in a photo-finish (as they say at the horse races) for the nuttiest.

He was riding his bike on Galley while his friend Orest Tataryn, a neon light artist, was walking beside him, when they spotted a hole in the road next to a storm drain, with pylons in and around it.

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“It was a pretty big hole so of course I thought I’d take a look in it,” said Engerer in a phone interview, adding he moved the pylons and peered into its depths, discovering a hollow area under the pavement.

The hole was just wide enough to allow him to lower himself into it, so he did, while hamming it up — cigarette in hand — for Tataryn, who shot the photos.

“The impetus for setting up the photo was the depth and the breadth of the underground space, halfway across the road width,” he said in a note that accompanied the photos.

He considered crawling into the cavern and exploring it, but it occurred to him that a car could pass over it while he was inside, possibly causing the pavement to collapse. So he passed on it, a good decision in our books.

We went there Tuesday to take a look and found that the hole — likely caused by a washout beneath the road from a leaky pipe connecting the storm drain to a storm sewer main, had just been repaired by Toronto Water.

And not a moment too soon. Who knows if the hole would have swallowed other adventurous victims?

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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