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Rainbow gateway markers to be removed

Church Wellesley BIA vows to explain more 'soon'

The Church Street rainbow gateway markers arrived only in February, but they will soon be removed temporarily to be repaired. Credit: Andrea Houston (file photo)

The new rainbow gateway markers on Church Street will soon be temporarily removed and sent to a “climate-controlled facility” for repairs, says the manager of the Church Wellesley Village Business Improvement Area (BIA).

“It’s no big deal. It’s just a maintenance problem that we’ve had, a structural problem that needs to be fixed,” says David Wootton. 

It’s unclear what is wrong with the markers. When pressed for further details March 26, Wootton promised to send Xtra a report explaining the problem and how it will be fixed. However, Wootton had not sent any more information by press time.

“They are not defective. It is just a reaction to the chemical compound that attached itself to the metal. It can be fixed. It just can’t be fixed outside because the climate keeps changing.”

Wootton says he doesn’t know how long the markers will be gone or when the removal will happen. “I’m not sure yet, but I think it will be only hours. We are sending the gateway markers off to be fixed in a closed climate facility, then brought back.

“I can’t go into it. I’ve been asked not to say anything,” he says. “It’s a new process I have to follow . . . We have a new process that I have to structure information that I send out to you, to support things we’re doing, so you’re informed.”

The rainbow markers, two 22-foot signposts, arrived on Church Street in February. Each came at a cost of $87,500, a pricetag that was shared by the BIA and the City of Toronto. One marker is located just north of Wellesley Street, at the entrance to Cawthra Park; the other is in front of the City Park Cooperative apartments on Church Street, between Alexander and Wood streets.

The installation of the markers was delayed in July 2012 after the city’s public utilities department raised concerns about the difficulty of digging under the sidewalk.

Wootton says the repairs need to happen quickly because the markers must be ready for an official unveiling on April 14. He says the manufacturer, not the BIA, will pay for the cost of the repair.

BIA co-chair Liz Devine had no further information on what will happen to the markers or why they need to be fixed.

“David is putting together some information that describes formally what is being done so we can have the appropriate communication go out to you,” she says. “We asked David to put something together that speaks intelligently to it.”

Devine says she does not know the name of the company that manufactured the markers.

Xtra is following the story and will update it with the BIA document when it arrives.