Construction workers stand around uselessly as they work to fix a busted water main at Yonge and Gerrard Thursday. PHOTO: EMMA PRESTWICH

Water main break closes Jorgenson Hall

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By Ramisha Farooq

Students and staff in Ryerson’s Jorgenson Hall were evacuated Thursday as a water main break on the corner of Yonge and Gerrard streets left the building without water.

Though there was no damage to the building specifically, the break affected fire safety systems within the building, according to a statement released by Ryerson University.

As a precaution the building was closed temporarily and classes were re-located.

“I came in and noticed everything was closed,” said Saeed Zolfaghari, a professor and the Senior Advisor on Academic Space Planning at Ryerson who was coming back from lunch when the main broke.

“The water in this building has never had problems before.”

Previously, in April 2011, a water main broke under 285 Victoria St. causing the electricity to be shut off, leaving the Victoria building, the Chang School and the Image Arts Centre without power.

Several factors contribute to the breaking of a water main but external corrosion is the primary cause according the City of Toronto.

The average age of water mains in Toronto is 55 years but around 17 per cent are more than 80 years old.

Several signs were put up throughout the Jorgenson and Podium buildings stating that all water had been shut off and that access to washrooms was prohibited.

A section of Gerrard Street was closed and city workers were immediately called to restore water service.

No damage was reported.

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