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You can be fined up to $10,000 for illegal dumping. So why is this Brimwood Road fire hydrant such a magnet for piles of junk?


There’s a fire hydrant on Brimwood Road that seems to have a magnetic effect when it comes to attracting piles of junk.

People who illegally dump refuse, instead of properly disposing of it, tend to be sneaky. After all, in rare cases where the city actually manages to figure it out and prove it, a potential fine of up to $10,000 is a big deterrent.

They usually gravitate toward industrial areas late at night, where darkness and an absence of activity in the wee hours provide the perfect cover for undisturbed dumping.

But some piggish oafs are nervier than others, and will offload their garbage on a residential street in broad daylight. They think that even if somebody is watching, they don’t care enough to report it.

Even worse, they understand that if they are reported, the city is unlikely to investigate or otherwise do anything about it, except maybe to clean it up.

That seems to be the case on the north side of Brimwood Boulevard, just east of Brimley Avenue, where a reader says illegal dumping around a fire hydrant has long been an ongoing problem.

Louise Poirier emailed to say she’s been calling 311 “on a regular basis” for years to report piles of illegally dumped junk on Brimwood. But every time the stuff is picked up, more garbage soon appears in the same location.

She said the source for much of it is a nearby low-rise townhouse complex, which has private garbage pickup instead of city collection, adding that it’s a “real eyesore in the neighbourhood

“Once I saw workers … move a sofa to the fire hydrant. I told them they should not do that. I took a picture of their licence plate and contacted 311 about it.

“Last Friday is the last time I phoned about the garbage and I asked if it would help to talk to the supervisor. I was told no and that city employees cannot drive all over, looking for garbage to pick up.

“If only the city would install cameras and catch the culprits.”

STATUS: I sent a note to the city that included photos of household furniture and other junk heaped around the hydrant, and got the following reply from Lisa Duncan, director of collections and litter operations: “Solid waste management service has investigated and cleaned up the location (on) Brimwood Rd. The municipal licensing and standards bylaw enforcement unit has also been notified and have placed this location on a list to monitor. The property management of the townhouse complex near the illegal dumping has also been notified. They were not aware of the situation but said they would let residents know where to properly dispose of excess garbage.”

I got another note from Poirier on Wednesday that said, “Good news: city employees picked up the garbage yesterday morning. Bad news: there was already garbage this morning, a bathroom sink and a desktop tower.”

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What’s broken in your neighbourhood? Wherever you are in Greater Toronto, we want to know. Email [email protected] or follow @TOStarFixer on Twitter





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