The large, sliding waterfall in Viceroy

Viceroy

Highway 427 (South) Storm Sewers

Water/Sewershed:
Etobicoke Creek watershed
Highway 427 storm sewers

Year of Construction:
1968

Construction Details:
RCP (3000mm and smaller)

Sitting on the east bank of Etobicoke Creek, on the very edge of Toronto, Viceroy's outfall is heavily fenced, abuts deep water, and when we explored it looked out on a show house belonging to Viceroy Homes Ltd., for which the drain is apparently named. For all I know, that housing project could very well have been completed by now, as I haven't since returned to this area.

I explored this drain in the middle of a frigid early March night along with a couple of colleagues. Slipping precariously underneath the chain-link fence that runs atop the concrete retaining walls either side of the drainmouth, we dropped down onto the weir that separates the splash pad from the deepwater of the creek itself. Bypassing the heavy steel gate, we entered a spacious, 3m diameter RCP, happy to be out of the -13 degree cold.

Inside, the concrete has a lovely texture to it, mostly dating from 1968, and is numbered throughout. Over the next kilometer or so we reach a series of rounded slides of varying heights and steepness, ranging from just over one meter up to around seven in the case of the tallest. They're quite smooth, and equipped with stepirons that run up the slope. Railings are provided at top and bottom. This style is almost an Etobicoke signature, although we've seen stepironed slides in other places too.

As it was so late, we turned around in a sort of RCB-shaped access room, beyond which the pipe narrowed to around 1800 mm. Beyond that there is reportedly only diminishing pipe and an eventual manhole exit to the margin of the highway. Climbing back up the retaining wall and under the fence was a bit tricky with our wet and quickly freezing boots, but we all made it out unharmed.

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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.