green river toronto

A Toronto river has turned bright green and nobody knows why

Well wouldn't you know it that a well-known body of water in Toronto has turned completely green — a bright emerald hue, akin to the Irish countryside's verdant rolling hills — during the same week as St. Patrick's Day?

It's a mighty coincidence, to be sure, but it's likely not what you're thinking. Toronto isn't trying to be Chicago.

Nevertheless, the Black Creek turned green earlier this week, much to the surprise of locals who were understandably a bit concerned.

While the image might conjure up thoughts of toxic sludge or, given the timing, St. Patrick's Day beer, it's more likely that the city added non-toxic dye to the river to analyze the flow of water into sewers.

Something similar happened in November of 2020 after a sinkhole formed in Leslieville.

A liquid coloured with bright green dye was added to the mysterious sinkhole at the time to see if it connected to any sewers, turning the water inside the hole bright green and giving pause to any Ninja Turtles fans who passed by the scene.

The City of Toronto has yet to respond to a query about Black Creek (or should I say green creek? har har har), but the situation appears to have resolved itself.

"The Black Creek seems to be back to its normal colour which implies it was just green dye for St Patties," wrote one local late Tuesday on Twitter, sharing a photo of the creek looking brown (it's supposed to look brown, don't worry.)

For now, the small river's temporary green transformation remains a mystery. If someone did in fact add dye for St. Paddy's, they kind of missed the mark by doing it a full four days too early.

Lead photo by

@ANeonGreenCity


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