Viaduct Embankment Will Commence to Crawl Westward From Logan Ave. in One Month

Modern Mound-Builders Plan a Snake-Mound Three Miles Long – Trestles Begun

Toronto’s waterfront viaduct will commence to take actual form in one month.

Progress to date has been confined to purchasing land, destroying buildings, constructing the Spadlna bridge and a temporary bridge near Bay street, building a few subway walls, filling in water lots and erecting trestle-work. In addition, of course, there is the work now going on back of the new Union Station. But none of these things spells “viaduct” to the public, because the public thinks of a viaduct as an embankment carrying railway tracks—a “mud wall” as W. F. Maclean used to call it in the days of the Toronto World. And as yet no embankment has appeared. But it will begin to show itself in a month.

The New Embankment

It will commence at Logan avenue, north of Queen street, and will crawl slowly southwest and west. It. will be built by dumping sand and grave! from a high wooden trestle. Part of the trestle is already built—from Logan avenue nearly down to Queen st., and again between the Don and Eastern avenue. This trestle will carry tracks, the tracks will carry trains, and the trains will carry the earth of which the viaduct is to be constructed. Subways are to pierce the embankment at many points. Their walls will be built in advance of dumping operations. Such walls have already been erected at the Don and at Eastern avenue. They are in course of erection at Queen street.

One problem of the railways has been to secure “mud” for the mud wall. Where water lots are being filled in, the necessary sand is being pumped across the bay, from near the Island shores. But for the “hump or embankment on which the viaduct tracks are to run, the material must be secured from another source—and. a lot of it. The railway “snake,” which is to have its head at Logan avenue, and the tip of its tall near Bathurst street, will be nearly three miles long, and will have an appetite for “fill” rivalling the best traditions of its species. It will consume millions of cubic yards of sand and gravel.

This material is to come chiefly from Scarboro township. It is known to-day that the land purchases made there by the C.N.R. last spring, and thought at the time to he for a different purpose, were really for a huge “borrow pit”. A borrow pit is really a pit from which material is “ borrowed” but never paid back. It is like a loan from a friend. On the 300 acres which the C.N.R. has secured in Scarboro monster shovels will soon be busy gouging out soil and dumping it on cars for transfer to Toronto’s waterfront to be picked up and carried off and made into an embankment three miles long.

The opposite thing took place when the provincial Hydro built the Chippewa canal. There it was a case of getting rid of earth, instead of needing it , and the Hydro acquired farms, not to dig up , but to cover with rock and soil from the “big ditch”.

The earth from Scarboro will be rust out on the wooden trestles which are to be the “skeleton” of the Toronto embankment, and the trestles—will he embedded in it and remain there. For the most part the material will be allowed to form its natural slope. In a few places a retaining wall will be built. When the modern mound- builders have completed their work it will be given time to settle and permanent tracks -will then be laid on it.

Many Properties Acquired

In preparation for the viaduct many: waterfront properties have already been acquired, and approximately $1,000,000 has been paid for these — in some cases the whole amount; in others a deposit- Between Logan avenue and the Don (C.N.R. territory, as distinct from the Toronto Terminal one hundred and ten properties have been bought, including one hundred and fifty buildings, chiefly homes. Final arrangements have yet to be made with regard to the Toronto Iron Works and the Richardson estate. Between the Don and Cherry street there has been an amicable arrangement with all parties concerned, as this Is mostly railway, crown and city property. One of the matters to be Ironed out is the dedication of crown property for viaduct purposes. but it is not anticipated that there will he any difficulty, as parliament passed Lies viaduct agreement with such an arrangement in view. The old bed of the Don river is one of the properties still vested in the crown.

The checks being paid for the properties acquired are from the Termite Terminals Company so far as the more central portion of the work is concerned, and from the Canadian National Railway in the east end. Then bills are sent to the city for its share of the cost—thirty per cent.

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