Toronto police spokesperson Meaghan Gray told Global News the dig was out of “precaution to make sure nothing is there” and to ensure no evidence had been disposed of in the drain.
The property at 53 Mallory Cres., where the 66-year-old landscaper allegedly stored his tools and where police confiscated planters containing human remains, was the focus of a month-long probe into the deaths of missing men from the city’s Gay Village.
Police said no further remains were found at the rear of the home and that the green military style tent in the backyard has been removed.
Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga said investigators will likely return in the spring to excavate other areas of the residence once the ground thaws.
Police confirmed last week that the remains of at least six people were recovered at the property on Mallory Crescent.
Authorities said one of those bodies has been positively identified as that of 49-year-old Andrew Kinsman, who went missing in June 2017.
McArthur was charged last month with five counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of missing men from the city’s Church-Wellesley Village.
He was arrested on Jan. 18 in connection with the deaths of Selim Esen and Kinsman following a probe into their disappearances.
Just over a week later, police charged McArthur with three more counts of first-degree murder related to the deaths of Majeed Kayhan, Dean Lisowick and Soroush Mahmudi.
VIDEO: Excavation begins at home connected to alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur
Police launched Project Houston in 2012 after three men went missing in the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood. Their investigation concluded in 2014 when leads in the case dried up.
Toronto police started a missing persons probe called Project Prism last August after Esen and Kinsman disappeared just a couple of months apart.
Police were subsequently criticized by the LGBTQ community for not escalating their search efforts and for dismissing rumours that a serial killer was in their midst.
McArthur is scheduled to make a court appearance on Wednesday.
VIDEO: Historian says investigation into alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur could date back to 1970s
—With files from Catherine McDonald