The view from the outfall of the Bayview Extension culvert, near the Bloor Viaduct

The Three Tenors

Culvert for Bayview Extension

Water/Sewershed:
Yellow Creek

Construction Details:
Built late 1950s to carry Yellow Creek fragment beneath the southern extension of Bayview Avenue. Three parallel RCPs (2850mm).

Further Reading:
lostrivers.ca

Archival Material:

This culvert was built at the bottom end of the Park Drive Reservation to carry the fragment of Yellow Creek fed by the Spadina Storm Trunk Sewer beneath the Bayview Extension and its accompanying ramps to Bloor Street.

The inlet sports a concertina of heavy rebar engineered to shake off the impacts of waterborne tree branches, rocks and other debris, lifting them above the flow and continuing to drain water as if all external matter was an immaterial figment of the drain's imagination. If you're thin enough to squeeze through the bars (I'm not even certain I could do it these days), inside there is a choice of one of three equally appealing pipes, built sectionally of prefab slabs similar to those in the Spadina storm trunk (though the diameter of each pipe is somewhat smaller). And around the ensuing bend of whichever tunnel you choose, you find a set of stepirons to a manhole, and then a stretch of pipe leading down to the outfall. The outfall itself is a watery affair resembling a lock and only partly above the Don River, sitting in the shadow of the Prince Edward Viaduct.

This bridge that carries Bloor Street and the Bloor-Danforth Subway across the Don Valley provides the one feature that elevates the drain above being a simple culvert and made it worth naming: marvellous acoustics. With its outfall aimed in the general direction of the viaduct's subway undercarriage, these three pipes channel and resonate with the trains' recurring rumble. The result is a roar every few minutes that is pretty special.

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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.