LRT underground construction may be damaging area homes
Residents concerned after several say they have found cracks in their walls
First came the noise, then the vibrations. Now, some locals in the Eglinton Avenue West and Avenue Road area are addressing damages allegedly caused by Metrolinx’s Crosstown light rail transit (LRT) project.
Local resident Graham Silver claims he has found cracks in walls, baseboards and window frames of his home on Duncannon Drive that he said weren’t there before the LRT boring machines started drilling in the area. According to Silver, two Metrolinx officials did attend his home to take photos and assess the damage, which he said amounted to roughly $800. Since then, he said it has gotten much worse.
“Over the last couple weeks, I’ve had more and more cracks, and now my driveway has dropped where my air conditioner is.”
Metrolinx spokesperson Jamie Robinson said the transit company documented the condition of each property on Eglinton prior to the tunnelling that began in 2013, to serve as a tool to evaluate the impact caused by the drilling.
Kozeta Izeti said she filed a claim in January for $2,500, when the roof of her second-floor apartment above her salon at 573 Eglinton Ave. W. shifted, causing water damage and a large crack to appear in one of her walls. Fortunately, Izeti said the surveys made it easy to verify the claim, although she has still not received any compensation. Residences to the north and south of Eglinton, however, were not included in what Robinson calls “preconditioned surveys.” Yet many residents in the surrounding neighbourhoods have complained of persistent pounding and vibrations in the past few months.
Joanne Crocker, also lives on Duncannon Drive and said she, too, has felt vibrations that have rattled the furniture and made it difficult to sleep. Crocker said she has also found long cracks inside her home.
Silver argues that potential damage to nearby residences should have been taken into consideration before tunnelling commenced.
“They know they’re going through an older part of the city. My house was built in the ’30s, so it was not built with the same materials that they use today,” he said.
Robinson acknowledged the age of the home could be a contributing factor as well as the type of geology in the area.
Although the transit project was commissioned by the province of Ontario, Silver said he has found the onus to be on local homeowners to appeal to Metrolinx for compensation. However Robinson said it’s a necessary inconvenience that is required in order for Metrolinx to verify each claim.
“The burden of proof falls on [the claimant] to prove it was as a result of our work that the damage has been caused,” he said.
Although he would not share how many property owners have come forward with damages, Robinson did state he has heard quotes much higher than $800.
Silver is still waiting to find out if he will receive compensation.
Graham Silver said he has found cracks in his home on Duncannon Drive