Strike trashes St. Clair

Town Crier reporters Kris Scheuer and Brian Baker took a walk along St. Clair Ave. West to see first hand how the garbage strike has impacted the popular strip. Scheuer took the section between Dufferin and Bathurst, while Baker strolled from Bathurst to Yonge. The difference they found was like night and day.

[attach]474[/attach]It’s day 23 of the garbage strike and St. Clair Ave. West between Dufferin and Bathurst streets is starting to stink from illegally dumped trash.

On July 14, I walked along St. Clair from Bathurst to Dufferin streets to see how the strip was holding up and found 196 large and small bags of garbage dumped on the sidewalk plus nine cardboard boxes of discarded waste.

I did not include trash being stored on properties of businesses or apartments, nor did I count random litter, including pop cans, milk cartons and water bottles, scattered along St. Clair in my tally.

This section of the road mainly consists of some low-rise residential buildings, two and three-storey streetfront shops, grocers and restaurants with apartments above. None of them are getting garbage pick-up during the strike however there is a temporary, legal dump at Earlscourt Park, located at St. Clair Ave. West and Lansdowne Ave.

But one local resident told me she lives close enough to smell the odour emitted from this neighbourhood dump.

“I can smell garbage from Earlscourt Park,” says Elizabeth Batista, who lives near Dufferin and St. Clair. “The flies are overwhelming. We can’t sit on our deck.”

She’s also disturbed by the garbage being dumped on St. Clair.

“I’m fed up,” she says. “We are fed up with construction and now the garbage makes it worse. It’s hot and stinky.”

This section of the St. Clair is being torn up as sidewalks and roads are resurfaced and new streetcar tracks are laid for a dedicated right-of-way.

Batista is taking her family to Nova Scotia to escape the mess.

“We have to get away,” she says.

Meanwhile, Diana Côté is visiting from Edmonton for three weeks and is not impressed.

“This used to be my neighbourhood,” says Côté, who grew up along this section of St. Clair. “I see people not caring as they are walking (and littering).

“I say keep your garbage at home and manage it with recycling and composting.”

I meet Patrick Hylton out walking on St. Clair near Oakwood Ave. He says the area is very messy.

“It’s a disgrace to the city,” he says. “I think the strike is coming to a head. I hope it’s over soon for the sake of the people.”

Meanwhile Edward Szilvassy, who lives a little north of St. Clair, wasn’t fazed at all, despite the fact that there were 18 bags of garbage dumped across the street from where he stood at Alberta Ave. and St. Clair.

“It looks very good to me, like a normal Tuesday,” he says. “Sometimes I see garbage bags around (normally).”