Wednesday, February 10, 2016Mostly Cloudy -10°C

Massive Storm Hits Toronto, Tornados Reported Across GTA

Posted by Derek Flack / August 20, 2009

toronto tornado august 20thA massive storm cell is ripping through the GTA, with multiple reports of tornado touch downs outside the city, resulting in at least one confirmed fatality in the town of Durham, Ontario.

Early reports also indicate a tornado touching down near Vaughan Mills and cars having been flipped on highway 400 as well as tornadic activity in the city of Toronto itself, but these have yet to be confirmed as the storm continues to move eastward. Reports, photos and videos have also lit up on twitter throughout the evening.

Updated: More photos and video of the tornado touching down in Vaughan, the storm front entering Toronto, and the brilliant skies and rainbows left in the storm's wake.

Toronto Storm Massive August 20th

Massive Toronto Storm August 20th

Along with the tornadoes, massive lightening strikes peppered the evening sky.toronto storm lightening august 20th

Video clips: one of the tornado touching down in Vaughan, couple of a wall cloud approaching downtown Toronto, and one that shows the heavy rain:

The sky after the storm was nothing short of spectacular and eerie, displaying the type of saturated colour that seems to accompany the hardest poundings.Toronto Storm Massive Rainbow

Toronto Storm Sunset Rainbow

Toronto Storm Sunset Rainbow

20090820-sunset bumblevee.jpg

If you have photographs of tornadoes or the storm in general, please upload them to the blogTO Flickr pool.

Lot's more photos and videos here.

Previous, related coverage: photos and videos of the August 9th severe lighting storm that came through Toronto.

Lead Photo by Zebriana, followed by photos by Janine Massey, ablankface, chewie2008~, @ThetaState, jumphawk, scott3eh, EvidencE, louise@toronto, bumblevee, louise@toronto, qviri.

Youtube clips from milsap. Tubeocracy, and hollyakimow.

TwidVid by modernmod.

Update: more videos:



DS / August 20, 2009 at 08:17 pm
That was one hell of a banger.
VancouverDoug / August 20, 2009 at 08:39 pm
That is one of the most fantastic weather shots I've seen this year. Nearly unbelievable.
JQ / August 20, 2009 at 09:18 pm
Live Blogging the storm at
Kwil / August 20, 2009 at 09:40 pm
Some fierce storms ripping through the area lately. That first shot is unbelievable.
Clinton / August 20, 2009 at 09:50 pm
The storm was incredible. The whole downtown core seemed to be glowing. Amazing Photographs.
trancence / August 20, 2009 at 09:53 pm
omg, storm go away.
Tricky / August 20, 2009 at 11:09 pm
Wow! The storms in Toronto have been insane lately! Kinda makes me wonder what is goin' on with the world... Great footage!
Anthony / August 20, 2009 at 11:37 pm
it's the peace after the storm...

the storm is vicious, and God bless the victims and RIP to that one person...

but after the storm leaves, it's so beautiful.

and that rainbow is a sign that God will never flood the world again, so... thanks God :)

not to be a stupid bum, but it really is beautiful after the storm goes away.

wish i could help the people who lost their homes though....

all the best to them... God bless!!!!!!!
Dog / August 20, 2009 at 11:51 pm
Jerrold / August 21, 2009 at 12:06 am
The way the sky went from green to yellow to red was incredible!
weeeeeeee replying to a comment from Anthony / August 21, 2009 at 12:20 am
Theres no such thing as god. grow up.
DS / August 21, 2009 at 12:34 am
It's not Vaughn, by the way. It's Vaughan, as in blogto's least fave Councillor.

derek / August 21, 2009 at 12:41 am
Thanks for the note. I've made the change in the text.

The title also bears an unfortunate typo: "tornados" should read "tornadoes." Apologies for the error.
Miles / August 21, 2009 at 12:44 am
Some amazing scenes both during and after the storm but that "Tornado in Toronto Yonge + Bloor" is nothing of the kind!
fc replying to a comment from Anthony / August 21, 2009 at 12:49 am
to Anthony: you CAN help the people who lost homes/property/etc. Donate your money to them directly. call them up and say "here's $100". or go help them clean up their property. stop wishing and start helping! :)
Allan / August 21, 2009 at 01:13 am
That second last picture of the T.O. skyline is phenomenal!
Nicole / August 21, 2009 at 08:34 am
OMFG thast storm scard
I swear i was gonna scream just seeing that happen
and knowing my cousin was saying and bringing up the fact
that there was a possiblity of a Tornado i flipppeeedd!!!
Ugh / August 21, 2009 at 08:51 am
How long till we start hearing Toronto '09: "The Summer of the Storm" out of every media outlet.
Jessica / August 21, 2009 at 09:42 am
omgggggggg this was in the same city as me!!! Thank God I'm alive....... I love God.
Whoa / August 21, 2009 at 09:45 am
Slow down there with your I love God rant.
Dawn / August 21, 2009 at 09:46 am
Amazing photos!!

I can't remember the last time I was scared of a storm & I was scared a little bit last night. lol
Anon replying to a comment from Anthony / August 21, 2009 at 10:48 am
The rainbow is a sign that the refractive index of water is higher than that of air. HTH.
Feldwebel Wolfenstool / August 21, 2009 at 11:46 am
That same strange GREEN SKY, occurred during the 1999 Derecho, that flattened the forest of the Minnesota Boundary Waters Canoe Area, and a massive patch of NWO.
Ryan replying to a comment from Anthony / August 21, 2009 at 11:51 am
The rainbow is a sign that god will never flood the earth again?? and here is was thinking that rainbows were caused by the splitting of sunlight into component colors by raindrops. all this time it was god.....I feel embarrassed.
VancouverDoug / August 21, 2009 at 12:00 pm
The sky coloring before yesterday's storms (tornados) is interesting. Last July 25th here in Vancouver we had the most spectacular lightening storm. Nothing like it had been seen in decades. Just before the storm we had dark and ominous clouds that then turned this fantastic orange color (reflected sunlight from the Straight of Georgia). Both light shows were fantastic as were the fireworks that evening. Late spring they had a fantastic storm in New York city complete with never before seen clouds and lots of orange. "Fear the strangley colored sky" I guess is the order of the day.
Roger / August 21, 2009 at 01:07 pm
If you want to see more orange after-the-storm sunset photos, <a href=""; target="_blank">check these out</a>.`
TA / August 21, 2009 at 01:08 pm
People in Texas and Oklahoma must be laughing at us right now.
The little twisters we got are but a dust storm compared to the F5's they get on a regular basis.
Just like how we laugh at them when the get light flurries and consider it the blizzard of the century.
TA / August 21, 2009 at 01:09 pm
People in Texas and Oklahoma must be laughing at us right now.
The little twisters we got are but a dust storm compared to the F5's they get on a regular basis.
Just like how we laugh at them when the get light flurries and consider it the blizzard of the century.
Angela / August 21, 2009 at 01:29 pm
Say there is no such a thing as a GOD when that tornado is coming at you and you are calling out to him to spare you and save your life...One day... :) Blessings and much one and all...
Monica Salvo / August 21, 2009 at 02:22 pm
thanks for posting the great photos of Toronto. Greatly appreciated when you´re living so far from the place I once called home. Greetings from Santiago, Chile.
Julie / August 21, 2009 at 02:29 pm
GREAT pics. But the thread title is wrong. There were *no* tornados reported in Toronto proper. Funnel clouds have to reach a specific wind speed and touch the ground in order to be designated a tornado.
Derek / August 21, 2009 at 03:10 pm
There were indeed numerous reports of tornadoes in the city, the most notable being a 680 news update about one at the foot of Jarvis St. that was re-tweeted like mad. Knowing, however, that these reports were likely erroneous, I noted that they had yet to be confirmed at the time of publication.
Equality / August 21, 2009 at 03:57 pm
For those of you who don't believe in God, keep it to yourselves, there are people who believe and don't believe, everyone has they're own beliefs, so if someone says " Thank god im alive" thats non of your business. Im a believer because something this beautiful cant be created out of nothing, we make paintings, we build cities, we build cars, THEY DONT JUST APPEAR OUR OF NO WHERE!anyway for you nonbelievers who kept your opinions to yourselves ignore this, but for those you who wished to make stupid comments like "there's no god", or "relax with your thank god rants", this is for you! I shared my belief with you 'cause you couldn't keep your mouths shut with others up here ^^^^ hahaha peace out losers MAY GOD BLESS ME AND EVERYONE TOO! >:D
Delia Nicole / August 21, 2009 at 04:26 pm
Sorry to go on about this but Equality, you're contradicting yourself when you say "those who don't believe in God should keep it to yourselves" yet if someone else says "thank God I'm alive" it's not supposed to be anyone's business. Freedom of speech man. Take advice from your own name. :)
Kunal / August 21, 2009 at 05:29 pm
That storm was CRAZY! I remember looking out the window and all I could see was this humongous cloud approaching...prety soon I could see water under the street lights and then next thing i know...HUGE drops of water on my window and evetually the rain tookover so badly that I cudn't even see outside my window. It was like I was behind a waterfall or something!! Once the storm subsided, the colours of the sky had a mesmerising eeriness to it!!
Thankgodtheresnogod replying to a comment from Equality / August 21, 2009 at 05:51 pm
Seems you cant keep your mouth shut either. If you want to believe in fairy tales go right ahead but once you open your mouth in public be prepared to get a response. Some people can only take so much ignorance towards science. Your delusions may be comforting to you but in reality its pathetic and ignorant.
Your god does not exist, never did, and never will. Theres no such thing as god, you got it dummy.
Anon / August 21, 2009 at 06:53 pm
Personally, I have no problem with expressions of religious faith but "that rainbow is a sign that God will never flood the world again, so... thanks God :)" was just so childish that I couldn't refrain from commenting.
conscious / August 21, 2009 at 07:44 pm
Equality / August 21, 2009 at 10:02 pm
well when it hits you one day straight in the face, you will learn. your just too insecure to let yourself believe and scared of that higher power...anyway i don't wanna waste my time preaching to you cuz your blind. This life is the fairytale, and your living it :) my fairytale is much better than this :D
response to Equality / August 21, 2009 at 10:31 pm
A debate about God within a topic about tornadoes is a no-win situation and pointless but Equality your last bit makes no sense at all. How can someone who doesn't believe in a higher power be scared of it?!? Or are you implying that insecurity is preventing someone from being scared of a higher power as if being scared is a noble thing? Either way you make no sense.

On topic, the storm put on a great show in Toronto but did worse north of it. Hope Durham and Vaughan make full recoveries.
Trish / August 22, 2009 at 09:33 am
i hope u dont have children, with an out look like that people need to belive in god and we need to know there is more to life then this and hopefully we all have the chance to have a peice of that mabey one day when u grow up you will see the light and realize you were wrong try it belive in it its a powerful thing.
gary / August 22, 2009 at 12:15 pm
Equality there is a simple explanation for your delusions: If my 10 year old nephew got in a time machine and traveled back to biblical times, with his basic understanding of natural sciences he would be by far the smartest living being. Back then ( just like now ) people looked for explanations to phenomena that they didn't understand. The major difference between then and now however is that the age of reason had not occurred yet nor was the scientific method used to form theory or law. In a nutshell, people were not rational and would make things up for the sake of comfort. How can someone in todays society still believe "science" from 2000 years ago? This was when we also believed the world was flat and illness was caused by demons.
Levi / gardenofeyes / August 23, 2009 at 07:17 am
this must be so intense and scarey but you have to know these are some beautiful photos you shot.
i've never seen anything like this over where i live ( netherlands )
One of the "Other People" / August 23, 2009 at 02:07 pm
Why is it all the "There HAS to be a god, (because I need one)" people lack grammer, punctation, and the ability to think, or spell correctly? Could it be that there is a connection between a lack of education, and the ability/desire to believe in a god? Hmmmm.....
Donna / August 23, 2009 at 03:10 pm
The fool says in his heart "there is no GOD".
Misty / August 23, 2009 at 10:42 pm
Awesome Videos and Pictures!

To those arguing about "God" take it somewhere else!!

James / August 24, 2009 at 07:44 pm
Erm, "grammer, punctation, and the ability to think, or spell correctly". Oops! That'd be grammar with an 'a' then. (ps. I'm an atheist spelling Nazi).
kieran / August 26, 2009 at 03:56 pm
i was in toronto airport when this happened and my flight was delayed 3 hours
BigYellowThingy / September 1, 2009 at 09:22 am
My flight was delayed 4 hours, so we missed our next flight on Heathrow, so that was another 5 hours delay. Grrrrr,
It took us 28 hours to get to Amsterdam!
Sabbii / September 17, 2009 at 03:51 pm
Life is just life. God gave us all a chance to live and I think we should enjoy life. Yesterday was the past, today is the present, tomorrow is the future. God gives us challenges to go against things such as tornadoes and hurricanes. Don't blame God for what's happening on Earth today. I lost my son in a horrifying situation like this and it hurts to see or hear when something happens like that. I'm really glad to hear that everyone made it out safely. All you need to do is turn to God and say "Thank you for making this day a challenge for me."
Pastafarian replying to a comment from Sabbii / September 17, 2009 at 05:15 pm
I thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster, for it is he that has guided me and protected me.
tashfia / January 18, 2010 at 06:42 pm
i saw the tornado from my apartment and there was a thunder storm and the power was out for a long time.we were really scared.
fdhhd / February 18, 2010 at 05:57 pm
weston was flooded really bad i remember
dsfg / February 18, 2010 at 05:58 pm
I know!
Roger / February 18, 2010 at 07:15 pm
The storm made for some pretty cool calm-after-the-storm photos, like <a href=""; target="_blank">this one</a>.
julian / April 11, 2010 at 04:54 pm
god doesn't exixt, idiot. Anyway, I was in canada's wonderland during that storm and the hail was HUGE. Me and my friends almost got struck by lightning.
Dan / April 25, 2010 at 07:04 pm
I was in Washington when this storm happened :( but I live in Mississauga, and a lightning bolt hit my neighbours house and it went down in flames during this storm :/ and they are still fixing it today !
Diane / September 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm
OMG!! I didn't hear a thing.......I could of been swept into Lake Ontario and I would of slept right through it
Susan / March 4, 2012 at 05:53 pm
The videos are wonderful. It's frightening to know that more tornadoes are making their way in the Metro Toronto area. The area west of the city, heading north towards Barrie is famous for them. I wonder if severe weather happens every so often, more drastically at certain times in history, or if it's our lifestyle or both. The wind yesterday, surely was the edge of the tornadoes in the US. We really aren't prepared or are used to them, but I think it's time we are.
Betty / April 24, 2012 at 01:57 am
When a storm blew over the rainbow is very nice: D But I'm sorry that they happen in Toronto storm / tornado! In the summer I travel to Toronto and I fear now that I have seen the pictures: S
wisdom / August 15, 2012 at 10:18 am
god knows all your disbelief is just ignorance & maybe youll grow up one day !i love god ....
Adam / September 5, 2012 at 04:17 am
developed or edited for free. Many will take me to lunch to discuss the project, and expect me to tell them everything I know about building or promoting a website.
martial arts supplies
Magda / October 3, 2012 at 04:16 pm
some photos of the sky made after tornado
Phillip / May 6, 2013 at 05:02 pm
I know right? Even if I never saw the storm at the time, God bless those who were critically injured, but anyway, I think that storm is sort of like an F2, possibly even F3 on the Fujita scale, so I don't think there are many deaths.

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Montreal