There's action at the King's Mill Park landfill!
Monday was the first chance we've had to take the Angus Bruce up the Humber River since it arrived in Toronto. Imagine our surprise when Mark Mattson and I rounded a bend in the river just after 6:00 and saw mounds of gravel, city trucks, and a backhoe on site.
It was almost exactly one year ago that we took our first samples from the old landfill site, which was (and still is) leaking contaminants into the Humber River. When rain falls, two things happen:
- rainwater soaks into the ground, passing through the hazardous waste, and carrying contaminants into the nearby river;
- leachate (liquid contaminants) bubbles up from the landfill, mixing with clean rainwater being drained through ditches into the river.
Since we released the results of our investigation last October, the Ministry of Environment has launched an official investigation and the city appears to be attempting to remediate the site.
Mark and I spoke with several people at the park, including one member of the adjacent yacht club (surprise! There really is a yacht club up the Humber River!). Unfortunately, none of the people we spoke with knew the park was an old landfill and the city has posted no signs to explain what the construction crews are doing.
Aside from the King?s Mill Park activity, the trip was cold and soggy. It rained a little and the waters of the Humber River were very murky. I photographed the clear colour of our wake out on the water to compare with the muddy brown wake created by the river. We saw a number of cormorants, swans, and herons (especially in the area around the sewage treatment plant) and a few pipes discharging water into the river. For the people living in the beautiful homes that back onto the river, the smell is rather unpleasant ? though the scenery and the peace and quiet are among toronto's best-kept secrets.
We returned to the Toronto Island Marina around 8:00.