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Riddle Of Mysterious Tunnel Solved, Toronto Police Say

A 33-foot-long tunnel found in Toronto, Ontario, is pictured in this handout photo provided by Toronto Police.
Reuters /Landov
A 33-foot-long tunnel found in Toronto, Ontario, is pictured in this handout photo provided by Toronto Police.

Police in Toronto say they have solved the riddle of a mysterious tunnel discovered near a venue for the upcoming Pan American and Parapan American Games.


Police say two men told investigators that they built the tunnel for "personal reasons." Police verified their account, deemed there was no criminal intent or concerns about security, and closed the case.

According to The Associated Press, Police Constable Victor Kwong said tips from the public helped authorities identify and interview two men apparently responsible for building the underground chamber, adding it has been determined there was never any danger to public safety.

As the Two-Way reported last week, police said the hand-dug tunnel is about 33 feet long and contained a gas-powered generator, moisture-resistant light bulbs, and food and beverage containers. It appeared to be well-constructed and there were still tools inside, along with a wheelbarrow and a pulley system, when it was found. Police said it was warm and comfortable inside.

After weeks of investigation, though, authorities could only determine that the hand-dug tunnel didn't lead anywhere.

Initially, the tunnel's discovery sparked security concerns. Canada has been on high alert since October, when a gunman shot a soldier guarding a monument before storming the Parliament buildings in Ottawa.

But police were quick to remind the public it wasn't against the law to dig a hole, and soon the security concerns turned to humor.

Here are a few comments from our earlier story to help explain the tunnel:

Nordicgod thinks it has something to do with the drop in oil prices: "this is perhaps the best the oil companies can do for new well investment."

Funbobby1 thought it might have something to do with Toronto's housing market: "have they seen how much condos in Toronto are going for these days?"

And Color Grower had this observation: "its bad enough somebody lost their man cave before moving the beer fridge and flat screen in."

Police may now know who built the tunnel, but its purpose is still a big question. It doesn't appear that "personal reasons" is enough to satisfy the public's curiosity — or stop the jokes coming. This one appeared on CNN:

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Jackie Northam is NPR's International Affairs Correspondent. She is a veteran journalist who has spent three decades reporting on conflict, politics, and life across the globe - from the mountains of Afghanistan and the desert sands of Saudi Arabia, to the gritty prison camp at Guantanamo Bay and the pristine beauty of the Arctic.
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