A doubled junction chamber beneath Toronto's Avenue Road in the Rosedale Creek Sewer. This photograph is available as a limited edition print from Circuit Gallery
The Problem of Ice
Until the widespread adoption of safe and commercially viable methods of chemical refrigeration in the first decades of the twentieth century, North American cities had depended on harvested ice stored in insulated blockhouses throughout the warm part of the year. This ice trade was increasingly jeopardized in the late 1800s as urban wastewater marred many cities' most convenient sources of harvested ice, including Toronto's. In 1892, an editorial in the Toronto Daily Mail decried the effect of the Rosedale Creek Sewer on Toronto's access to inexpensive ice.
A small yellow-brick sewer that runs beneath Yorkville and the Annex

The Rosedale Creek Sewer is perhaps Toronto's second large-scale combined trunk sewer, built as it was in 1888 just a few years after construction of the Garrison Creek Sewer. It served to sewer the waterway that the city called "Rosedale Creek" but which is more commonly known as Castle Frank Brook, removing the nuisance of another polluted waterway (see also) from Yorkville, Rosedale, and the neighbourhood around the future Casa Loma.

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Michael Cook is available to speak to your organization about infrastructure history, lost creeks, current conditions, and opportunities for change in our management of and communication about urban watersheds, and to work with teams proposing or implementing such change. Get in touch.