Monday, January 04, 2021

Barrier to Scarborough Bluffs

The majestic cliffs of grey, unconsolidated sediment rising high above the shores of Lake Ontario tends to collapse and drift on the currents. In August 2020 a large chunk of the bluffs broke free and fell in a billowing cloud of dust and debris. A close call because it did not fall on anyone.

In response the City of Toronto put up a fence barrier near the high vertical slopes along the beach advising people that there is "No Public Access" and "Caution Falling Debris". Of course people being people, they ignore the signs as they think about climbing to the top of the bluffs, perched precariously where they could be rescued by emergency services.
Enjoying the danger, two people walk along the small section of beach immediately below the towering bluffs

Even in winter the public loves to visit Bluffers Park and wander the parkland, hoping for sun and watching part of the eroding, 15km long Scarborough Bluffs which were created over 12,000 years in the past. As the City says, "The Bluffs’ edge is unstable. Stay behind the fences and use your common sense. Do not approach the edge of the bluffs". The material hasn't combined into a solid rock, it remains a relatively loose collection of sand, stone, silt and clay - ready to fall with a little effort when exposed to the elements. One day it will just be a gentle hill so you better see it before it is too late.
You can see how thin the top section of the bluffs as erosion wears away the backing of a section of the cliff
A pile of debris sits at the site of the latest collapse
The path to the bluffs passes a small storm sewer outlet so bring your rubber boots if  you want to visit

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