March 2, 2015 7:01 pm

‘Personal reasons’ excuse for Toronto tunnel spawns online satire

A copy of a Toronto Police photo of the site of the tunnel found near one of the venues for this year's Pan American games is shown during a press conference in Toronto Tuesday, February 24, 2015.


TORONTO – Toronto Police were mocked online Monday for not releasing more information on the builders of a mysterious tunnel near York University.

Toronto Police spokesperson Constable Victor Kwong told Global News that investigators believe there was no nefarious intent.

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“We are satisfied that these two men in their twenties dug it for what we’re calling ‘personal reasons.’ It was simply two guys who came up with an idea of 'wouldn't it be cool if we dig a hole that we can spend some time in,’” he said.

Kwong said the two did not have any construction expertise, even though the 10 metre long tunnel near the Rexall Centre did appear to be properly buttressed, with a makeshift lighting and ventilation system; nor did the builders have any connection to the university.

Their names are not being released because they face no criminal charges.

Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s former Privacy Commissioner and now the executive director of the Privacy and Big Data Institute at Ryerson, said it is understandable that the names remain private.

WATCH: Constable Victor Kwong says police spoke to two men who built a mysterious tunnel near York University facilities.

But she believes the police should be much more forthcoming with information about the case, especially given that the tunnel was on public land and there is broad interest in the case.

“What does personal reasons mean? They wanted a place to have a smoke, hold meetings? It’s ridiculous. The public has a right to know,” she said.

The police use of the term “personal reasons” spawned a hashtag and satirical commentary on social media.

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