January 31, 1999
To: Toronto Community Council
From: David F. Parrish, Director of Districts 1 and 2 Water and Wastewater Operations
Subject: Drain Grant Appeal for 31 Glen Stewart Avenue
Ward 26, East Toronto
An appeal to a denied Drain Grant Claim has been made by the property owner, Mr. Christopher Lawson of 31 Glen
Stewart Avenue. The applicant is requesting to be reimbursed $856.00 for damages to a private drain due to tree roots.
There are currently sufficient funds in the Water and Wastewater Services Division's 2000 Preliminary Operating Budget
to cover this appeal.
It is recommended that the appeal be denied.
City Council, at its meeting of May 11 and 12, 1999 adopted, as amended, Clause 3 of Works and Utility Committee
Report No. 7, entitled "Sewer Connection Blockage Inspection and Repair Program, and Tree Root Removal and Grants
Policy". Under the Policy the City provides grant assistance for repairs to private drains, between the City property line and
the building, where the blockage is the result of roots from a City tree and is verified by City staff.
The Policy also provides the homeowner the opportunity to appeal for an enhanced grant and appear in deputation before
Community Council when the grant application is denied or where total costs exceed the grant maximum.
On September 18, 1999, drain expenses were incurred by Mr. Lawson by reason of work performed to his drain system on
private property. Partial drain repairs totalling $856.00 were submitted on September 24, 1999 for consideration under the
Drain Grant Program.
On October 28, 1999, staff of the Urban Urban Forestry Section, investigated and reported the presence of two trees - a 15
cm Crimson King Norway Maple tree on City property in front of 31 Glen Stewart Ave. and a 80cm Boleana Poplar tree,
on private property, in front of Mr. Lawson's neighbors' house at 29 Glen Stewart Ave.. Forestry staff commented that the
tree most likely involved is the privately owned 80cm Boleana Poplar tree. On November 3, 1999, Mr. Lawson was
advised in writing that in accordance with the Drain Grant Policy, reimbursement for partial drain repairs caused by a
private tree is not eligible.
Staff have reviewed records in the dispatch office and found that, between 1991 and 1996, Water and Wastewater field
staff responded to blocked drain calls at 31 Glen Stewart Avenue on six occasions. On each visit drain blockages were
released by plunging at the breather. In addition, between 1988 and 1996, field staff responded to four blocked drain calls
from the neighbouring home at 29 Glen Stewart Avenue. Both houses have single connections.
Mr. Lawson also requested consideration for a full reimbursement of $856.00 under the old policy as he had recently
moved into 31 Glen Stewart Ave. If his claim had been allowed the grant assistance for a partial repair under the new
policy would have been $500.00.
The history of blocked drains at these two neighbouring houses suggests that problems started some twelve years ago when
the Norway Maple on City Property was fairly immature.
In light of the response from the Urban Forestry Section and the lengthy history of blocked drains at both 29 and 31 Glen
Stewart Ave., it appears that the blockages were caused by the private tree located at 29 Glen Stewart Ave.. As such this
appeal should be denied.
Mike Siokalo, Manager of Operations and Maintenance
District 1, Area 1, Water and Wastewater Operations
David F. Parrish, P.Eng.
Director of Districts 1 and 2 Water and Wastewater Operations
Water and Wastewater Services Division MS/bmk