Toronto’s Water Supply.
The subject of the water supply of the city of Toronto has been one of general interest for many years past, more particularly during the last two years, within which a number of accidents have occurred to the water-works plant, resulting in deterioration of the quality of the supply. The question as to what should be done to improve the supply and perfect the system, says The Canadian Architect, has been widely discussed, and numerous have been the theories advanced. The idea that water of much greater purity is obtainable at Lake Simcoe, and that it could be conveyed by gravitation to Toronto more cheaply than the necessary supply could be pumped from Lake Ontario by the existing method, is one which has apparently taken a firm hold on the minds of some of the citizens. The advocates of this idea argue that not only could water for drinking and other domestic purposes be supplied, of better quality and more cheaply, by this method, but also that power could be developed to operate all the manufacturing establishments of the city, as well as light the streets. These views were promulgated by one of the mayoralty candidates at the last municipal election. Whether or not the startling nature of the proposal had anything to do with his defeat, we have no means of knowing ; certain it is, however, that the theory is not backed up by any engineering authority. The fact has been demonstrated that the water of Lake Simcoe is in no respect superior in quality to that of Lake Ontario. This is one of the important features in the case. Another is that, in the opinion of the city engineer of Toronto, a tunnel can be constructed for $500,000 which will ensure a supply of water sufficient for the needs of 500,000 people, while the means of bringing water from Lake Simcoe would cost millions. The height of land lying between Lake Simcoe and Toronto would necessitate about twelve miles of tunneling, the cost of which in itself would be enormous. As to the advantage of the scheme for power purposes, it is an undisputable fact that power can be produced cheaper by steam engines on the ground.