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The Fixer: An unwanted resurrection for old railway tracks near St. Lawrence Market

Exposed tracks

JACK LAKEY/TORONTO STAR Old tracks that were buried many years ago under asphalt in the intersection of Market and Wilton Sts. have resurfaced, creating a tripping hazard, particularly at night, due to an absence of street lights.

Some things should stay dead and buried, like train tracks that were taken out of service many years ago.

The area between The Esplanade and the elevated rail lines that run into Union Station, east of Lower Jarvis St. and south of St. Lawrence Market, bustles with pedestrians from condos and hotels built in recent years.

But it wasn’t so long ago when it was an industrial zone, where smoke stacks and small factories dotted the horizon, instead of sleek residential buildings.

Back then, industries were served by railway spur lines that allowed freight to be moved in and out, the likeliest explanation for tracks that can still be seen in the intersection of Market and Wilton Sts.

Ken Andrews told us via SeeClickFix that the rails were buried under the asphalt many years ago, but have slowly re-emerged until they are well above the surrounding pavement.

“They have turned into a walking hazard at night, at the north-south pedestrian crossing, and protrude to a height of about six inches,” said Andrews.

This is a hazard for pedestrians, especially since Toronto Hydro has yet to re-light the street lamps on Wilton St.”

We went there and found old tracks that have worked their way to the surface, running at an angle across the intersection and into the path of people crossing the street on the east side.

With several condos in the surrounding area and a Shoppers Drug Mart on one side of the intersection, there are a lot more people wandering around than even a few years ago.

If it’s as dark at night as Andrews says, then the tracks would indeed be hard to see and easy to trip over.

STATUS: We’ve emailed Rob Burlie, who’s in charge of road operations in that area, to ask if it’s possible to have the tracks removed, or at least smoothed over with new asphalt to reduce the chances of tripping.

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thestar.com – Opinion