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Toronto businessman uses his own crew to tackle pothole on Martin Goodman Trail
Codi Wilson, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, June 25, 2019 8:27AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 25, 2019 1:33PM EDT
A Toronto business owner decided to take matters into his own hands when he spotted a giant pothole along the Martin Goodman Trail.
John Long's Cherry Street towing and storage business is located next to the Martin Goodman Trail and Long said he noticed that cyclists were repeatedly crashing when they hit the massive pothole near his driveway.
Rather than leaving it up to the city to fix, Long said he decided to pave over the pothole himself.
“I was paving my area anyway and it was just such a big hole … so I decided to pave it and clean it up a little bit,” he said.
Long said he was not trying to be critical of the city when he chose to do the work himself but wanted to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists in the area.
“I get along with the city pretty good. I’ve done business with them for many years. They are busy. They have a lot of pot holes, a lot of things to fix,” Long said.
Long added that he does not want anything in return for filling the pothole but he did inform the local councillor Paula Fletcher about the work.
“She was very, very impressed that I did it,” he said, adding that she was somewhat surprised. “She is very, very happy.”
The city says anyone who wishes to do this type of work must first apply for a permit and abide by certain standards. In this case, city staff said a permit likely would not have been granted.
Long said 311 was called “many times” but the patching that they did was not enough.
“I made it very, very safe,” he said.
Two runners who regularly use that stretch of trail told CP24 that before it was filled, they found the pothole difficult to maneuver around.
“It was big, big puddle and you had to go around or try to find your way around and you just couldn’t,” one of the runners said. “This was a nice surprise.”
Mayor John Tory called Long's efforts "a good thing" for the city.
"It’s been a bad year. The winter weather was severe as people know. The spring weather was no better in terms of the environment for the city to fill potholes... But for a citizen to come forward and do a few more in a place that helps people use the Martin Goodman Trail is a good thing and I welcome that," Tory said.
"We can’t have everybody out there because you do have to have a certain degree of quality control but in the case of this man, he had a piece of his own property he was paving and had professional people doing it and so it was a kind of useful add-on."
Tory said so far this year, the city has filled nearly 120,000 potholes.
"We are working away to make sure we can do more as a city to fill what will amount to hundreds of thousands (of potholes) when all is said and done," the mayor said.