Wednesday, August 8, 2018


An entire area of Toronto that used to be Lake Ontario before being filled in during the 1920s and well into the 1940s with no thought process about future development, drainage or natural floodplains, was/is under water today and hundreds of people are blaming climate change.

I'm not a scientist, I can't tell you if 50-75 mm of rain is driven by Nature pushing back, but I can tell you that Toronto's most southern communities, those south of Front Street, and its underground city running south of Queen Street, won't be able to cope with future rainfall if something isn't done to address stormwater runoff and management. You've got entire neighbourhoods and streets that used to be a lake. There's bound to be consequences when you fill in natural tributaries and bury rivers under concrete and steel. What a mess.

Summer storms aren't a new weather phenomenon, especially when cold fronts meet days long heat waves. This is only going to get worse. It throws thousands of people living in the city and commuting into the city into chaos. I blame years of provincial government stalling and Toronto politics for this garbage.

I'm working from home today so I missed the free wading pool at the York Concourse.


Tal Hartsfeld said...

I think nature's fighting back, actually
...against decades of continuous incremental overdevelopment. Nature's tired of its ecosystem being constantly thrown off for so long.
FINALLY!!!!---the earth itself is saying "Enough is enough!!!!!"

Ed said...

One huge problem in Toronto is the area where the Don meets lake Ontario. The numbnuts changed it so that instead of a straight run into the lake, the water must take a right angle turn. That is the major reason the tracks and the Don Valley got flooded that year and this past tuesday, the water just couldn't drain fast enough.

Another major reason for flooding is like you said, the lake used to own a lot more area and filling it in with waste and whatnot makes it very susceptible to floods. Nothing will be done because it's too expensive (they will say) for once in a while events and developers don't give a crap about where they build it seems. I can't imagine what the cost would be to put in mitigation systems in the basement of the lake shore condos. Eventually I believe things like that flood will stop being news.

I'm glad I live north of the old Lake Ontario shoreline. It'll take a lot more than 100 mm of rain to flood my place.

CJ Smith said...

There were naturally occurring smaller streams that ran south to the Lake from Dufferin Street to the west and the DVP to the east. Those all got filled in as the downtown core got filled up.

Take a look at this map:

They are all gone. There is no watershed. None.

Anonymous said...

Friday commute home from Union wasn’t funny at all.
How many times does this have to happen before Union Station thinks about doing something about it? Does somebody need to get injured first? You can guarantee that when the Union Station Grand Reopening
EVER happens they won’t have considered anything to get rid of the water in these conditions. But by all means spend money elsewhere it isn’t needed most.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the effects caused by the combined storm sewer/sanitary sewer situation. Once all of that rain runs down through the entire city it has overflowed the storm drain capacity so it's no longer just rain getting back to the original shoreline. The rain falling by the lake doesn't even have anywhere to drain to, and the sewer grates are pushing water up and out.

Judging by the colour and smell and floatables(!) on my street and in my building's parking garage the flooding in this area certainly isn't just rain water!