toronto flooding

Nightmare flooding ravages the streets of Toronto

Dozens of homes, cars and public structures were seriously damaged in Toronto last night when an entire month's worth of rain hit the city over just two hours of an intense storm.

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement on Tuesday night around 9:50 p.m. warning of "heavy showers" in downtown Toronto, particularly near the waterfront.

By 11 p.m., the federal weather agency reported that 64.3 mm of rain had fallen at Billy Bishop Airport — just a little bit more than the average local rainfall for the entire month of July. Other parts of the city are said to have received closer to 20 mm.

The localized weather system moved out over Lake Ontario around midnight, but not before turning the city's downtown core into a waterlogged, dangerous mess.

Flash floods turned roads like Front Street, Lake Shore Boulevard and even King Street West into rivers faster than cars could manage to get out.

Public transit services were shut down on account of, well, look at Union Station:

Streetcars and buses had a particularly rough time getting through the surprise waterways under highly-trafficked overpasses like those at Queen and Dufferin.

And near King and Atlantic.

A ruptured fire hydrant in the latter location saw some streetcars almost go underwater, with customers reporting they "basically had to swim home."

Condos from Fort York all the way up to Queen West were evacuated on account of rising waters in hallways...

Lobbies...

And parking garages...

People who had been attending the Shakira concert at Toronto's Scotiabank Arena got soaked on their way home from the venue.

In some cases, they got soaked inside the venue, too.

Blue Jays fans were no luckier.

Toronto Police say that marine unit officers had to rescue the occupants of at least four cars near Lower Simcoe Street and Bremner Boulevard. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.

The rain has slowed down significantly, but some parts of the city remain dangerously (or at least uncomfortably) water-logged.

Storms could return to Toronto on Wednesday afternoon and evening, according to Environment Canada, though not nearly as much water is expected. 

Toronto Hydro continues to restore power to areas of the city affected by outages, and warns anyone with a flooded basement to "please remember that electricity and water don't mix."

Lead photo by

Nick Sodi


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

The history of Markham's massive Cathedral of the Transfiguration

The surprisingly radical history of that church they built the Toronto Eaton Centre around

Bluffer's Park is home to the only beach along the Scarborough Bluffs

This is what three of the biggest new subway stations will be like on the Ontario Line

The roof at the Rogers Centre is open and people have thoughts on what it could be used for

Shoppers are lining up outside Toronto retail stores and you should stop judging them

Toronto couple picked up 6,000 garbage masks and gloves and they're not happy about it

Toronto Police rescue dog found running along the Gardiner Expressway