An oversized curb in front of a new Leslieville condo has been tripping up residents — and the local city councillor is demanding answers.
The issue is the height — at about 30 centimetres, it’s roughly twice as big as an ordinary curb.
And Coun. Paula Fletcher, who represents Ward 14 Toronto-Danforth, has given city staff until Friday to come up with some solutions for the sidewalk outside the George Condos and Towns at .1256 Queen St. E., west of Greenwood Avenue.
“It was built a little high, and now the sidewalk is very dangerous for tripping and falling. And anyone who’s poorly sighted or with a cane or any mobility issue, it is a treacherous strip,” she said.
“I have had so many emails from people saying, ‘Have you seen that sidewalk? What’s going on?’ And Twitter in Leslieville just blew up with this sidewalk.”
She’s written a letter to the deputy city manager, Tracy Cook, demanding that staff provide some potential fixes to the problem by May 14.
It’s not clear how the mammoth curb came to be. Neither the developer nor the city are accepting the blame.
In a statement to CBC Toronto, developer Rockport Inc. appeared to blame the city.
“The construction of 1331 Queen Street East was appropriately permitted and fully approved by the City of Toronto, and was built and occupied in accordance with all necessary municipal permissions,” the statement reads.
“Despite approval of the building’s design and construction, we have since become aware of issues related to the grading and curb conditions..”
But city staff said Rockport made a mistake.
Permanent fix needed
In their statement, staff say, “there was an error made by the private developer and their consultant team which resulted in the finished grade being higher than it should have been in relation to the right-of-way. The private developer is cooperating with the City to make immediate efforts to correct the error and ensure the right-of-way is both safe and accessible for all pedestrians.”
But Fletcher said the immediate goal should be making the sidewalk safer, not laying blame.
“We’ll get to the bottom of that later. But the issue is how is this going to be fixed to make it a safe passage for people here on Queen east,” she said.
Large orange barrels warn pedestrians to stay away from the steep drop.
The city’s statement says the plan is to replace the barrels with planters and bike racks. But other options are also on the table.
Fletcher said Thursday she’s spoken with city staff, and they plan to add handrails and increase the number of planters to the sidewalk, although those assurances haven’t yet been provided in writing.