Toronto’s Guarding the Freeways: DIY Flood Control

Shawn Micallef

When Canadians look to Toronto’s Rivers in the off-season, they immediately think of massive floods. But they might not think of Toronto’s pockets of vigilantes that make life a lot better for the newly recovered.

There’s only one way that Toronto can get insurance for its properties. You have to sign a consent agreement. But make the signing of the consent agreement part of the construction of your property. For example, you can put in a concrete retaining wall up to 12 feet high. Well, if the retaining wall was built above the height of the dam, the Department of National Defence will acknowledge it and you will get insurance for the wall you put up.

When there is a flooding, you have a patrolling unit there to put water where it wants to go. At first, some properties are unusable, but when you get all the properties under the agreement to take precautions to prevent flooding, the flooding becomes a problem.

How come, you ask? Because it’s called The Code of Conduct. Toronto is the only place in Canada where these bands of vigilantes patrol the freeways, watch the low-lying spots and inspect them. Because once you’ve signed the consent agreement, the Department of National Defence will have to make every effort to ensure that all the properties in your neighbourhood are under the plan, and they do this by actively patrolling.

People don’t give Toronto credit for these amazing things that we do, they don’t even talk about it. But once people hear about it, the government will pay attention.

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