From: Jennifer Hanson, thenorthbaybay.ca staff
A new sinkhole on Memorial Drive has the City talking.
During Tuesday’s Town Hall meeting, City Councillor Vic Tikus brought up the freshly former crater.
“As many of you know, a new sinkhole has appeared on Memorial Drive near Queen St. What some of you don’t know is just how big it is.”
“Just how big is it?” asked Councillor Martha Vrenbach.
“It’s pretty big,” responded Tikus.
In fact, a team led by fearless adventurer and former Chief Commanda captain Robert Nelson repelled into the sinkhole Monday evening, and reported back that he was at a depth of 64 meters (210 feet) before disappearing forever.
“We’ll miss Bob and his stern, lifeless stares,” Tikus grieved.
Residents of Queen, Coglan, and Monk St. have been complaining for weeks about the sinkhole, but were largely ignored by the City. It was only Monday morning, when an entire school bus headed for Amelia Park was swallowed by the yawning crater, that Council decided to weigh in.
A note sent home to anxious parents reads that “we have heard from the school bus over a CB radio and everyone on board is perfectly fine.”
Signed by Marcia Dressgood, Manager of Human Resources at The Near North District School Board, the note concludes:
“We don’t know when you’ll see your children again, but I can tell you that they’re all very excited for Widdifield to shut down and they ask that you please stop talking about it.”
But the gigantic sinkhole isn’t all bad news, reminded Councillor Vic Tikus. Instead, the sinkhole is a “freshly opened goldmine.”
“When you think of North Bay, and what North Bay needs, what do you think of?” Tikus asked. “What does North Bay desperately need?”
Vikus then delivered a boldly coloured seven slide PowerPoint presentation which highlighted how Council could use the sinkhole as the base for a new 300 spot parking garage.
“I heard someone complain about parking at the waterfront once and this would really fix that issue” agreed Councillor Harve Evan.
Put to vote, City Council then voted 10-1 in favour for building a new parking garage in the middle of Memorial Drive.
Councillor Dalton Sheegan agreed to take over finding a company able to build the garage.
“I know a few Toronto guys who’d be up for the task.”
Construction will begin in December, and will take “couple of years.”
In the meantime, Memorial Drive will be completely inaccessible. Detours will be set up to take drivers on a meandering trek through Main Street, Oak Street, McIntyre Street, and 1st Ave., “just for fun.”