Cleanup of mystery sludge continues after ‘illegal spill’ into Etobicoke Creek

Ontario's environment ministry has confirmed a contractor has started removing an oil-like material illegally dumped in a Toronto catch basin, eventually flowing into the creek. David Zura explains.

By David Zura

Environmental cleanup continues after an unknown material was discharged into Etobicoke Creek.

City of Toronto crews could be spotted along the creek at Marie Curtis Park, placing booms as part of the containment effort while tracking the progress of the mysterious sludge as it gradually flowed toward Lake Ontario.

The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MOE) confirms the spill originated from a catch basin at 5555 Dundas Street West, a concert and event venue.

“The City has traced the source of [the] spill, which resulted in an oil-like substance entering Etobicoke Creek,” a spokesperson said.

“A catch basin on private property near Dundas and The East Mall was found to hold the oil-like material. The City has cleaned the catch basin, and efforts continue to clean Etobicoke Creek. The City continues to assess the cause of this illegal spill. As a precaution, the MOE, along with Environment Canada, have been notified.”

Passersby indicated the spill looked and smelled like gasoline.

The Toronto Wildlife Centre tells CityNews that relatively few animals have been impacted by the spill, but they did confirm that one duck was rescued as a result.

Last August, a large industrial fire at a chemical plant in north Etobicoke resulted in an accidental spill into Mimico Creek. The resulting oil-like slick impacted local wildlife, and the cleanup lasted several months.

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