Remembering Toronto’s Storm History
Toronto has been through a lot when it comes to severe weather. Hurricanes and other natural disasters are not limited to coastal areas. We’re going to take a look at some of the biggest storms in Toronto’s history. We will remember them and hopefully learn more about how to prepare for future storms.
As early as 1858, there were record-breaking storms, including one that turned the peninsula of Toronto into an island. Ships could actually pass through over the water that covered the connecting land. The Snow Storm of 1944 dumped 57cm of snow and 21 people died.
Arguably, the most memorable storm of all, Hurricane Hazel struck Toronto on October 16, 1954. It has been the most devastating storm to hit the city to date. Just as in 1858, the city once again became an island. This time, a large stone bridge over the Don River on Bathurst Street broke and fell. 4,000 people were left homeless and 81 people died. This was a Category four hurricane, uncommon for Ontario.
Tornado’s 1985 tornado ruined the Barrie racetrack, injured 60 people, and killed eight.
Toronto Snowstorm of 1999
This year in Toronto, four consecutive storm fronts came through, one right after another. This storm produced 118.4cm of snow, the largest accumulation since 1846. 11 people lost their lives in this snowstorm. It cost the city CA$70 million in military assistance costs, for both rescue and cleanup.
This month in Toronto’s history produced dozens of thunderstorms within the same month and two tornadoes. There were 1400 lightning strikes per minute. Overall, Toronto experienced a half billion dollars in damage.
Flood of 2005
On August 19, 2005, Toronto experienced three additional tornadoes, which led to 130mm of rain. This flooding alone cost the city an additional CA$500 million in damage.
On August 20, 2009, several tornadoes blew through Toronto as well as Southwestern and Central Ontario. It was the largest single-day tornado outbreak in the province. Four of them were F2’s, one person died, and the storm damaged hundreds of homes.
On August 11, 2011, the most powerful storm since 1999 hit Toronto hard. 40 people were injured and one person was killed.
2013 Ontario Ice Storm
As if winter’s brutal temperatures weren’t enough to deal with, this ice storm left .5 million people without power for a week.
Flood of 2013
This flood produced 98.3mm of rain in two hours. 300,000 people lost power for a significant amount of time.
Ice Storm of 2013
This ice storm occurred right before Christmas. There were two meter-tall snowbanks. This storm led to the most consecutive days of snow on the ground in Toronto history.
June 10, 2015 Thunderstorm
This thunderstorm caused entire trees to fall over streets, causing traffic delays and trapping people in their neighborhoods. There was a lot of flooding and ping-pong ball sized hail.