TORONTO - Residents are furious and tourists are disgusted as Canada's most populous city enters its second week of a strike that has shut down city programs and left mounds of garbage and piles of waste rotting on the streets.
About 24,000 inside and outside City of Toronto workers walked of the job on June 22, bringing garbage pickup to a halt and closing city-run daycares, parks and recreation programs, swimming pools and ferry service.
Sarah Beals lives across the street from one of the temporary sites set up for people to toss their trash. Toronto residents from across the city have been driving there to unload bags of garbage on to a basketball court turned into a makeshift dump.
The area, normally a park and playground for neighbourhood children, has left the community upset and worried about health hazards, Beals said.
"It's really stinky and there's children everywhere and I have to sit through it and people are taking on to it so easily. They're just going there and dumping it so that it's out of sight and out of mind," she said.
Some of the thousands of tourists who flooded the downtown Sunday for the annual Pride Parade also wondered about the trash.
Leilania Mroczkowski travelled from New York for the festivities, but was bewildered by the sight of overflowing garbage bins.
"I think it's kind of bad we were in Chinatown walking around and there's just piles of trash next to the garbage cans," she said after surveying the littered streets.
"When you have empty trash in your hands you don't want to walk around and people are just dumping it next to trash cans or anywhere, it's kind of gross."