Friday, July 1, 2016

The Toronto Waterworks - clean water for a huge city

In the Dirty Thirties, Commissioner R.C. Harris designed and built an engineering marvel that still delivers fresh water from the lake to the city.

The fraught era of the construction of the Water Works by immigrant labourers is portrayed in Michael Ondaatje's brilliant novel, In the Skin of a Lion. While Patrick, the protagonist, tunnels under the lake, immigrant labourers ashore hold forbidden political meetings using mime.

The building at the left is part of Harris's system. Located on the Toronto Islands, it is off limits to members of the public. The main R.C. Harris water treatment building is a city landmark.

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