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03 December 2023

Toronto police stumped by mysterious tunnel

A tunnel found near York University in Toronto is shown during a press conference about the tunnel in Toronto. (AP)


Police are asking for the public's help in trying to determine who built a mysterious underground tunnel near York University in Toronto.

Deputy Chief Mark Saunders said Tuesday the tunnel is 10 metres (10 yards) long and two metres (two yards) high. He said it isn't near any infrastructure and doesn't appear to lead anywhere.

The chamber was discovered Jan. 14 in a secluded wooded area by a conservation officer who spotted a large pile of dirt. Saunders said more than one person with some level of expertise likely built it.

Police found plywood wall supports, a gas generator, moisture resistant light bulbs, a sump pump for removing ground water, a wheelbarrow and food and beverage containers. They also found a rosary with a Remembrance Day poppy nailed to a wall.

Saunders said there's nothing to suggest a criminal element.


"It's not your everyday find," Saunders said.

He said he doesn't have a working theory on why it was built but said whoever built it took quite a bit of time to build it. He said it was warm and comfortable inside. Police believe it was used during the winter.

The bunker is located about 25 meters (27 yards) from the fence of the Rexall Centre entertainment complex, which hosts the Canadian Open tennis tournament in the summer and will be used to host tennis events for the Pan American Games in July. He said it didn't represent a threat to the games and said the bunker would have been an eye sore to police.

Saunders said they've collected all the evidence they need and have filled in the tunnel for safety issues.

"Until we get what the intent is behind this, we're going to continue to investigate," Saunders said.