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Eglinton Crosstown construction leaves homeowner rattled

Last Updated Apr 29, 2019 at 6:57 pm EDT

The construction of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT is progressing at a steady clip and is set to open in 2021, but it is leading to some bad vibrations for a homeowner living above the site of the Laird Station subway stop.

Twenty metres below Lisa Silverstein’s home, a special mining technique called “chipping” is being used to hollow out the area for the underground stop — a technique that is shaking the house to its core.

Lisa tells CityNews the tunnel boring that took place prior to the chipping was tolerable, but the current construction has left her quite literally rattled.

“This is the worst. I’ve been living with this since at least Christmas – 24-hour drilling,” she said. “My son said ‘I feel like I’m in Jurassic Park’; you look at your glass on the table and literally, you can see the ripples in the glass. My pictures rattle – everything shakes.”

Lisa says part of her land was expropriated to build the underground station and the hole they are currently digging is adjacent to her basement, which she rents out. While the tremors can be felt above ground, the tenant in the basement is also dealing with very loud noise levels.

CityNews began investigating after the tenant tweeted at Metrolinx saying, “Above laird station. Pictures are falling off the wall. Seems dangerous. We’re kinda scared over here. Is this level of noise and vibration especially safe?”

Metrolinx tells CityNews the special mining technique is being used instead of the traditional cut and cover construction and points out that it usually results in more noticeable vibrations for properties closest to the site.

“We are the only house on this particular block that would be so badly affected, so I feel like Metrolinx doesn’t really care because it’s just us,” said Lisa adding that when she went to the Crosstown community office to make inquiries, she was offered a white noise machine, which she said is not particularly helpful against vibrations.

Lisa adds there is not enough communication from Metrolinx about the construction and she only received an information flyer about four months after the mining began. She said she gets most of her information by asking workers at the construction site.

However, Metrolinx says they canvassed the area a number of times throughout the past two years to bring awareness to the mining activity taking place at Laird Station. Weekly updates are also posted every weekend at the main and secondary entrances of Laird station.

They add that the work is being done 24/7 to ensure it is completed on time and to reduce the impact on surface level operations. Over the next week, they say there will be four hours of chipping required over a 24-hour period and mining operations will continue until late 2019.