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‘Significant’ gas leak forces evacuations in downtown Toronto

A ‘significant’ gas leak was reported at building near King and Portland.

Kaleigh Rogers/The Globe and Mail

Fire crews have evacuated buildings in downtown Toronto because of what they deemed a "significant" gas leak.

According to Toronto Police, emergency crews were called to 560 King St. W., near Portland Street, about 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday. Police say workers hit a gas line while doing excavation in front of the Silverplate building, a heritage building constructed in 1882.

Toronto Fire Services have closed off several blocks around King and Portland and evacuated buildings in the area as Enbridge crews worked to shut off the gas.

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Ken Lake, who identified himself as the superintendent at 560 King St. W. – a new condo development built around the heritage property, was doing a repair in an upper-floor unit when security alerted him to the leak.

"Pretty much I went into evacuation mode and evacuated the whole building," he said as he watched crews working from the sidewalk across the street.

All of the occupants of the building were waiting a safe distance away, Mr. Lake said. "The gas is going running through all the halls so it's nothing you can play with."

The Toronto Transit Commission is diverting King streetcars along Queen to avoid the area.

Editor's Note. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said Wind Mobile workers hit a gas line. The workers were doing excavation when the gas line was hit, but it is not known which company they worked for.

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