Beneath an inlet grille, in North York's enormous Wilket Creek drain


Wilket Creek Storm Trunk Sewer

Wilket Creek (formerly Milne Creek)
Willowdale storm sewers

Year of Construction:

Construction Details:
Enormous cut-and-cover RCP (up to 4800mm) as well as sections of single and double rectangular box conduit. The drain's extensive length is punctuated periodically by large ceiling grilles, which provide drainage for the flood plain above.

Further Reading:
8 Southern Ontario creeks we could start daylighting tomorrow

As far as I know, this is the largest storm trunk sewer in Toronto. Stretching from north of Finch Avenue to the intersection of Bayview Avenue and York Mills Road, the Wilket Creek Storm Trunk Sewer grows to become a round pipe more than 4m in diameter, and then splits into a pair of rectangular concrete ducts of similar dimensions. This size is punctuated by a series of minimalist chambers where ceiling grilles cast light into the drain's enormous spaces and allow water to drain from the flood plain above it.

Sections of this storm trunk sewer were probably installed as early as the 1960s, but the bulk of the work to bury Wilket Creek appears to have been performed around 1970-1972. Initially a flood control project, it became a drain as a result of concerns expressed by neighbouring homeowners about the safety of their children and their properties. It is notable also that a neighbouring stream to the northeast is also called Wilket Creek -- there is said to have been a clerical error in 1960; the original Wilket Creek is the eastern one, while the creek that runs through this drain was previously known as Milne Creek. 1

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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.