A look back at the Toronto snowstorm of 1999
I've bee enjoying the photo galleries a number of media outlets have posted of the recent winter storm that buried the northeastern United States. Unlike the paltry amount of snowfall that can shut down European cities, the storm was certainly the real deal, with 50 to 60 centimetres of snow falling in New York. Airports were closed, traffic was snarled, snow plows crashed into SUVs, and removal crews were overwhelmed. But, they didn't call in the Army.
No, that was -- as many will recall -- Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman in January 1999. Indeed it's difficult to look at photos of this year's storm and not think about how bad things got in our city after that blizzard dumped between 35-45 centimetres on us. I remember that it took about an hour and half to drive to my part-time job the day after the storm, and I was only going from around Avenue and Bloor to Yonge and Lawrence.
The subways of course were temporarily snowed-in, the airport was closed and many businesses decided to give their employees a day or two off after the blizzard have done its damage. But, good ol' Mel figured it all out by soliciting the services of 400 troops, who took to city streets in armoured vehicles and eventually got Toronto up and running again.
Here's a look back at what was often referred to as the "Blizzard of the Century."