A familiar old feature to west siders and OTrain users is no more.
We shall miss it (not). Sniff sniff.
When the original OTrain (now, Trillium Line OTrain) was built back in 2001, city staff were under pressure to do the demonstration project on a shoestring budget.
I gather from old hands that were present back then, that a decision was made by Helen Gault at the city to route the track around an existing utility pole in the middle of the field. This was done to avoid the cost of moving said pole. Again, old hands tell me that cost was $300 or $500 … or some such trivial sum. Look at the above picture, taken by Mr Google from the Albert Street overpass, to see the bendy track and the guilty pole causing the deviation.
Local train buffs and city critics promptly named it the Helen Gault Commemorative Pole.
When the city decided to install continuous rail, charged to us by the centimetre, they kept the silly curve instead of fixing the un-necessary longer routing. Helen Gault’s pole lived to see another day.
But what did I see yesterday?
Can it be true?
Yes, the Helen Gault Commemorative Pole is gone ! Vanished ! Disappeared !
What could hold up those wires?
Ahh, a new pole has been installed somewhat to the east.
After 16 years, the track could now be straightened.
Except … the track is being relocated further west to the new OTrain Platforms to be built on the west side of the cut and under the west end of the new Bayview Station.
However, hope springs eternal. See those green paint markings on the pathway? They indicate a sewer line. It appears to be directly under the pole. And a number of the sewer lines here are being relocated starting in January 2017. Will the tale of the persecuted perambulating pole continue? Will Helen Gault’s pole finally find a permanent home?