Watch the video above: Bay and Adelaide reopened after loose glass panel at Trump Tower. Jackson Proskow reports.
TORONTO – Toronto’s public works and infrastructure committee chair Denzil Minnan-Wong thinks more effort should be made to protect citizens from falling panes of glass and other material coming off of Toronto’s high-rises.
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“We have to make sure proper inspections are done and the other thing that may need to be revisited, is the building code tight enough to protect both the people in the building and the people on the ground,” Minnan-Wong said.
The call to action comes a day after pedestrians noticed a large panel dangling from a room on the 52nd floor of the Trump Tower, forcing the closure of Bay and Adelaide streets Thursday night and into Friday afternoon.
“This is becoming far too frequent and far too common, it is a danger to the public and if this is going to happen more often, maybe the rules need to be tightened up municipally or provincially.”
The intersection reopened shortly before 2 p.m. Friday.
Ontario’s building code was amended in July 1, 2012 to include new glass installation guidelines for builders following numerous incidents of falling glass reported a year prior.
But, the amendment doesn’t impact buildings already under construction and only applies to new builds after 2012.
Aerial Footage: Hanging glass dangles from Trump Tower
The city’s role, according to chief building official Ann Borooah, is to verify all construction in the city complies with the Ontario Building Code.
“We respond to any unsafe conditions associated with the buildings,” she said. “Our role there is to make sure the buildings and the situation around them, the public space where it may affect safety, is remedied.”
The province says existing buildings are also not required to be retrofitted to the new requirements.
“In terms of retroactivity, I know that there will probably be a significant cost to everyone who has purchased a condo unit,” said Minnan-Wong.
“And it might not be a bad idea for individuals thinking of buying condo units to ask very careful questions about how safe their buildings are and about the windows that are going to form parts of their building.”
WATCH: Minnan-Wong calls for greater action to address falling glass in Toronto.
The Trump Tower isn’t the only building having problems with its glass of late.
A stretch of road in downtown Toronto at the Shangri-La Hotel needed to be closed off after glass fell from that structure last November.
This was the third such incident for the luxury hotel in 2013.
“I think we need to ask pretty sharp questions to builders about how they’re constructing these buildings and how they’re fastening windows to buildings,” said Minnan-Wong.
While it’s not known exactly what caused the piece of glass to become dislodged, Jeff Archbold, a professional engineer working in forensic engineering, said extreme fluctuations in weather can cause glass to loosen.
“Toronto will have more instances like this because again, we’ve got these extreme changes in temperatures,” he said. “You’re going to have more moderate temperatures in Vancouver or in Europe or in the southern states.”
TTC service was affected with the number six bus diverted around the affected area.
UPDATE: 6 Bay diverting S/B via Richmond, University, King & N/B via King, Yonge, Richmond due to falling glass at Bay and Adelaide. #TTC
— Official TTC Tweets (@TTCnotices) March 7, 2014
– With files from Jackson Proskow