Toronto 311: Will It Work?

This is not the problem manhole cover; this is just a pic I grabbed from the internet
This is not the problem manhole cover; this is just a pic I grabbed from the internet

For the past week, I’ve been plagued by a horrible, metallic banging noise that I swear has been getting increasingly louder. The cause is no mystery: There’s a loose manhole cover located just a few metres from my house that is regularly knocked by passing cars (though thankfully, not every vehicle hits it).

What is a mystery is why this noise started. While this manhole cover has made noise in the past, it’s never been this loud or this on-going. At first I thought the problem would solve itself; that some dirt and gravel would fill in the gap between the cover and its rim, silencing the damn banging noise. But I was wrong.

So earlier today I decided to do something about the noise and I filled in the gap with some expandable foam. No, I didn’t do that, that would be illegal (I think). Instead I called 311.

I have called 311 once before, years ago, and it was sort of successful in that my issue was referred to a bylaw officer who I think looked into the issue (I’m honestly unclear if he actually did something or if the problem coincidently resolved itself). So I have high hopes for this call.

I made my call just before lunch time and to my surprise, it was answered pretty much immediately. The woman I dealt with was polite and asked what I thought were appropriate questions. She seemed to really want to understand the details of the problem, which I appreciate.

The call ended with her collecting my name and a phone number and giving me a reference number, a number I’ll be using to follow up on my issue on oh, let’s give them until Thursday. (Actually, my issue is supposed to be looked into within 48 hours of my call.) One of the nice aspects of 311 is that you don’t have to call them back to follow up on a issue. Instead, you can just go straight here and track your issue using the field on the bottom-right of the page.

I’m really hoping though that the City will fix the noisy manhole cover prior to Thursday. If it does, I’ll be writing a glowing follow-up blog post. And if it doesn’t, well, I guess I’ll be writing a less-than-glowing post and making a followup phone call.




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