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Remembering Severe Storms in Toronto

Rain, Snow, and Wind, Oh, My!

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.

Hurricane Hazel
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.

Tornadoes like this and worse touched down multiple times in Toronto
1985 Tornado
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.

August 2005
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.

August 2009

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. 

2011 Tornado
On August 11, 2011, the most powerful storm since 1999 hit Toronto hard. 40 people were injured and one person was killed.

Ice from a storm completely covered this car.
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.

Prepare for the Next Storm

We recognize how devastating storms can be and how people are inconvenienced in a power outage. While we can’t prevent major storms from hitting our cities, we can prepare for them. Generac not only has the products, but tips to prepare as well. Explore our site and learn what you can do to protect your home and family during upcoming severe weather.