Mystery Tunnels

Due to urban renewal during the fifties the houses around Cabbagetown became vacant, we would go into them and explore. There were several houses on the south side of Dundas between Belshaw Avenue and Sumach Street. These houses had really long backyards that stretched down along all the backyards on Belshaw Avenue which was the street that Terry and I lived on. So we just had t o hop our back fences to gain access to these houses.

After these houses were vacated we discovered a series of tunnels about 30 inches in diameter running out into the yards and connecting all the basements of these houses. Not only that but there were tunnels running about 75 feet down to about the halfway point in a couple of the yards. The only use I could possibly think of for these extended tunnels would be as escape routes.

But from who or what? All together there had to be about 300 feet of tunnels dug which would be a lot of work for just a lark. Besides, the kid in me would like to think they were used by smugglers or escaped convicts which is what we pretended when we were exploring them.

One possible reason for these tunnels could have been that they were used to hide runaway slaves during the Underground Railway days. Does anybody out there know about these tunnels. This is a mystery thats been bugging me since the fifties. If any of you Cabbagetowners know anything about them, please email me at