Odour Concern at Wellesley and Sherbourne Development Site

Residents have recently reported to my office and city staff a strong smell of gas near the Wellesley and Sherbourne intersection. My office has been informed that these odours are not dangerous. They are associated with ongoing soil remediation efforts related to the Alterra development at 159 Wellesley Street East.

159 Wellesley Street East is the site of a former gas station. As part of the work that Alterra is legally required to do, they must remove the contaminated soil, which is the source of the gas smell. The site was inspected by Enbridge Gas late last year due to a previous gas smell concern, and it was identified then too that the source is the soil remediation work.

What has changed this week is that Alterra have reached the most contaminated layer of soil which, combined with the wet weather, has ensured the odour is at its strongest. Alterra expects that it will take approximately a week to remove this layer of soil, which following this work should result significantly diminished odours. Alterra reports these odours will not be noticeable to neighbours in two to three weeks time.

Soil remediation is a process subject to guidelines set by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Climate Change under the Environmental Protection Act. Alterra is mandated to monitor the fumes on their site to ensure they do not exceed these Ministry guidelines. While obnoxious, these odours have not crossed the required threshold.

Councillor Wong-Tam has reached out to Alterra and has asked that they take any measures they can to reduce the impact of the odours on residents, especially those with conditions like asthma that may particularly susceptible to such an odour.

Alterra has provided a number of contacts should you have questions or wish to bring a complaint about the odours to them.

  • You can contact Alterra's Qualified Environmental Manager, David McClellan with Arcadis, at (647) 523-6444.
  • The Site Superintendent, Vince Valente, can be reached at (416) 684-3355.
  • Alterra's Community and Municipal Affairs Manager, Justin Matijasic can be reached at (416) 964-1800.

You also have the right to file a complaint with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Climate Change, you can either call their Toronto duty officer line at 416-326-3381, or e-mail the ministry at [email protected] You can find more information on contacting the Minister by clicking here.


To learn more about the 159 Wellesley Street East development application, please visit our website or the City's Application Information Centre.

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