April 12, 2018: Rock, rock and more rock;
Explosive construction ahead.
By Cheryl Parrott.
At the moment there are 3 active sites – 2 are large, really deep excavations and 1 that is just a single small lot.
The communities of Hintonburg and Mechanicsville are built mostly on bedrock.
Traditionally most properties in the 2 neighbourhoods had no basements or at best a cave carved out of the rock. The odd property was on a small piece of ground that had enough depth for a basement but this was certainly the exception.
There are many new developments and redevelopments happening in both these communities. The coming LRT line is but one of the stimulants for this development. The proximity to downtown, walk-ability, and eclectic nature of the 2 communities have all stimulated the changes.
Blasting is felt throughout both communities on a daily basis as well as the incessant noise of the hoe-ram breaking up the rock and the dump trucks trucking it away. At the moment there are 3 active sites – 2 are large, really deep excavations and 1 that is just a single small lot. All 3 are within an area of about 3 blocks.
The small excavation site is on Carruthers just north of Scott St and right beside the Transitway pathway. This site shows how close to the surface the rock is, the depth of the soil at this location looks to be only a couple of feet deep before the solid rock begins.
The 2 larger sites are being excavated a long way down, especially the project at the corner of Parkdale and Burnside. It will have 7 floors of underground parking and looks to be near that level now. The tower above will be 32 storeys.
The building at the corner of Carruthers and Scott will be going down 3 storeys according to the plans on file at the City and will be an 18 storey apartment plus 12 stacked units that are 3 and ½ storeys in height.
Many other projects north of Wellington St. W. have been approved, are working through the approval process, or the properties have been purchased with the intent of redevelopment.
It will be a very noisy future for local residents as more and more holes are dug out of this rock.
Photo Caption: Hintonburg and Mechanicsville share a foundation of solid bedrock, in many cases just a few inches below the surface. Construction in this area requires intense blasting. Noise levels are expected to increase as more and more projects get underway. Photo by L. Marlow.