Once upon a time, when infrastructure repairs were carried out in a natural setting, not much thought was given to vegetation. It was assumed that plants would take care of themselves once land was allowed to return to a natural state post-construction. Today, we are far more thoughtful and city contracts are written to specifically protect vegetation when possible and restore it if destruction is necessary.
The sewer that runs along the Humber Creek has reached capacity and must be upgraded or ‘rehabilitated’. A stretch of vegetation has been cleared in preparation for the installation of a higher capacity sewer network that will serve residents of the area. The Chapman sanitary sewer as it is known runs from Royal York Road, roughly following the Humber Creek and crosses under Scarlett Road into Raymore Park before joining up with main sewer that runs alongside the Humber.
Amazingly, as part of the $9 million contract, every one of the hundreds of trees removed on public or private property for the project was catalogued and while only the native ones will be replaced, thousands of other native trees and shrubs will be planted. To get an idea of the modern-day eye for detail and care that will be taken, a set of plans for a small segment of the sewer can be found here.
The work and re-planting should be completed by next fall and the replacement native trees and vegetation will eventually make the affected land better than before it was cleared (because non-natives will not be replaced). Of course the whole point of the work will be the prevention of sewage back-up into residents’ homes as happened in July 2013. Hopefully this will allow many decades of trouble free use.