So, I finally found some answers on the east end stink problem, and the news is not good. It would seem that the smell in Leslieville is indeed sewage, and it's not accidental - it's institutional, and it's here to stay, for a while.
The issue came up at a meeting of the South Riverdale Community Health Centre last night, where the problem was on the agenda and discussed. Here's what they had to say:
Item 4. Sewage Odours MOE
We have had many complaints starting on Friday and through the weekend about sewage smells. The City has $220 million allocated for odour controls over the next 10 years. They have a plan but it will take time. The problem seems to be that they canâ€™t get rid of the sludge fast enough. Historically it went to farms and landfill. Michigan is now closed and fall is better for spreading on farms. Then there were consecutive Canadian and American holidays where trucks werenâ€™t operating. We are looking at issuing an order to get the city to deal with the sludge. They know thereâ€™s a problem.
The good news is that the City no longer burns the sludge and the new pelletizer should be operating for the first time ever this week to replace some of the trucking. It is a facility that dewaters and dries the sludge for use as fertilizer pellets. Comment: The City need to get its act together, they produce 10 trucks and ship 6. They should belooking at mine tailings and tree plantations not just agricultural land application.
Great... so now we're going from stockpiling sewage sludge to stockpiling sewage pellets. And no answer to why it suddenly smells here but not in the Beach.
It's just what this up-and-coming neighbourhood needs, you know. Every week I read articles in the major papers about the great new shops and coffee shops and restaurants opening up in Leslieville, such as neighbourhood cornerstone Joy Bistro's new B-side outdoor patio/lounge. Nothing brings in the customers like the smell of dried sewage sludge pellets.
And of course I was speaking to a colleague about how we had both finally made an effort to go green, opening windows instead of using the air conditioning (she, again with more gumption, went so far as to buy a bunch of window fans for the purpose.) Now it's back to shut windows and AC for the forseeable future. Again, just what Toronto needs.