Toronto tunnel dug by 2 men as ‘man cave’, police say

A copy of a Toronto Police photo of a tunnel found near York University in Toronto is shown during a press conference in Toronto on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. Police are asking for the public's help in trying to determine who built the mysterious underground tunnel. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

TORONTO (AP) — Two young men who built a mysterious tunnel in Toronto had no criminal intent, police said Monday. They just wanted a man cave.

Const. Victor Kwong said tips from the public helped them identify the two men in their 20s responsible for building the underground chamber near a Pan Am Games venue. News of the tunnel’s discovery set off a social media frenzy, with theories of its purpose ranging from zombie hide outs to affordable housing.

Kwong said the two men just wanted to have fun and there was never any danger to public safety.

“It was a place for them to hang out. They started out as goal to make a cool place and that’s what they did,” Kwong said.

Toronto Tunnel
In a Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015 photo, Toronto’s Deputy Police Chief Mark Saunders explains evidence photos as he speaks to the media about a tunnel found near one of the venues for this year’s Pan American Games, at a press conference in Toronto. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

He said investigators checked out their explanation and the case is now closed. He said the men will not be charged, though they could face a fine.

The bunker, discovered in January by a conservation officer in a densely wooded area, is located 25 meters (27 yards) from the fence of the Rexall Centre, which is to host tennis events for the Pan Am Games.

Inside, police said they found beverage containers, plywood wall supports, a generator and a sump pump. The chamber was almost 2 meters (2 yards) high, 86 centimeters (34 inches) wide and 10 meters (33 feet) long.

Toronto police announced the discovery of the tunnel on Feb. 24 after weeks of surveillance didn’t turn up anything.

Kwong said police are not releasing the men’s names, or any further details since the case is not a criminal investigation.

Kwong said the men are not believed to be survivalists, adding they just “wanted to dig a tunnel.” He said they were not ex-miners or engineers.

“The minute they were found they were apologetic,” Kwong said.

He said there is no connection to this summer’s Pan Am Games, or to York University, which is also near the site where the tunnel was found.

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