City on Google’s candid camera

Garfield Peart, owner of M&M Garage Door Services, was inside the garage of a home near Pearson International Airport about four months ago when he heard the voice of a child coming from the other side of the door he was installing.

“Suddenly, a kid runs up,” Peart said, “and he said, ‘Sir, your van is on fire!’ There was a window above the garage door; I went up top, and I look out, and yes, there it is, on fire – actually the van of the owner of the house – beside my truck. So I had to rush outside while the fire was gushing from the side of the van to move my truck. And as soon as I moved my truck, the van blew up.”

Nobody was hurt in the explosion, so Peart laughed loudly when he was told why he was being asked about this peculiar chain of events so long after it unfolded: a Google Street View camera car, we now know, drove by the Robinglade Dr. house minutes before the blast.

Fortunately for the world, Google is better at creating cool things than at warning people of impending disasters. The company launched the GTA edition of Street View Wednesday.

Using the free service, which uses images recorded last spring and summer, Torontonians can view high-quality 360-degree snapshots of everything visible from almost every street in the city and its suburbs: homes, stores, parks, restaurants, tourist attractions, soon-to-be-toast vehicles.

As depicted by Street View, Toronto seems clean and orderly. Tourism honchos, however, will surely not be thrilled to see the…

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Common garage door repair related FAQ

How long does it take to replace a garage door?

Roughly 3 to 4 hours, if done properly.

How often should my a garage door be serviced?

Your garage door is a large piece of moving equipment made up of many parts. Some families use their garage door more than their front door. We recommend having your garage door and operator serviced every year in order to ensure a properly working door and operator. The noises your door or operator makes are your initial “warning signs” that something is not quite right. The longer you put off the necessary service, the more damage may result.

How long do garage door springs usually last?

The most common torsion springs have an expected life of about 10,000 cycles (one opening and one closing is a cycle.)

What is the life span of a garage door opener?

The average life span of a door opener can vary from 10 to 20 years depending on the model and usage.

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