Diggin' ItDiggin' It

Mysterious tunnel baffles Toronto authorities

Sophisticated underground structure found close to Pan Am Games site

Renee Ghert-Zand is the health reporter and a feature writer for The Times of Israel.

The mysterious tunnel found in Toronto, Canada on January 14, 2015. (YouTube screenshot)
The mysterious tunnel found in Toronto, Canada on January 14, 2015. (YouTube screenshot)

A new tunnel has been discovered. It’s not leading from Gaza or Lebanon in to Israel, though. This tunnel was found in Toronto, Canada just 25 meters from a venue scheduled to host the tennis competition at the Pan Am Games this coming July.

The tunnel, which appears to have been dug by hand and is located 25 meters below ground, is 2 meters high, 1.6 meters wide, and 10 meters long. It was discovered January 14 in a wooded area next to the Rexall Centre at York University by a conservation worker. However, it was not until Tuesday, after Toronto police had excavated the bunker, that the public was made aware of it.

Without any idea who built the tunnel and why, the police — who do not believe that it was not intended for criminal activity— are hoping that the public can help solve the mystery.

The police filled in the tunnel after it was excavated and evidence removed. The underground structure was found to have contained waterproof lighting, a sump pump to remove groundwater, a pulley system to remove dirt, and food and drink containers.There was also a rosary with a Remembrance Day poppy attached to it nailed to the wall of the tunnel.

A secondary, smaller hole was also discovered, and it contained a gas generator with an extension cord to bring power to the main tunnel. The extension cord was concealed, and the small hole containing the generator was lined with soundproofing material.

According to some new reports, the plywood walls and reinforced ceiling in the tunnel were signs of expert engineering and construction. Others quoted experts who said the opposite seemed to be the case. Whatever the case, whoever did all this digging without power tools must have been very patient. One expert quoted by the National Post said that some 34 tons of dirt had to be removed, a task that would have taken weeks or months if it was done manually.

The Toronto authorities appear to be completely baffled by this big underground hole to nowhere. It doesn’t seem to be a survivalist tunnel (not deep enough), nor a space intended for growing marijuana or cooking meth (too sophisticated).

There is apparently nothing illegal about digging a tunnel, but that doesn’t mean that the police don’t want to get to the bottom of this.

‘This isn’t Hamas trying to tunnel its way out of Gaza and into Israel’

“In light of today’s present circumstances, anything that we don’t have an answer to, we want to fully explore, we want to get the answers and if it compromises public safety, we have a concern. So until we get what the intent is behind this, we’re going to continue to investigate,” said Toronto police deputy chief Mark Saunders.

John Thompson, a terror and security expert interviewed by 680 News, said he could understand the reason for concern.

“The more you look at the trench and the design of it, the more we have to ask what the heck this was for. This isn’t Hamas trying to tunnel its way out of Gaza and into Israel,” he said.

Or is it? Maybe the terrorist organization is just taking a very long detour this time.

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