toronto islands flooding

Lake Ontario reaches highest water level in history

Lake Ontario water levels are the highest in history, which means the Toronto Islands are at risk of flooding.

The lake is 76.03 metres above sea level. The last water level record reached 75.93 metres in 2017.

But, this may not even be the end. Water levels are expected to continue rising over the next week.

Toronto Island residents are bracing for flooding. Over 2,000 sandbags and 30 sump pumps have already been put in place. Thirty-metre bags are laid out at the most vulnerable parts of the Islands.

“This is a difficult time for local residents, who are working tirelessly to protect the Islands,” city councillor Joe Cressy said on Twitter.

Last week, high winds knocked some of the sandbags over, which allowed water to flow inland. More high winds are expected on Thursday afternoon. 

Cressy said setting up sandbags cannot be an annual tradition.

“We must also acknowledge that the climate crisis is real, and having a devastating impact on communities across our city and province,” he stated on his website. “As we work to mitigate impacts right now, we must adapt and plan for the future.”

Ferry services have been cancelled to Hanlan’s Point and the area around Gibraltar Point is closed off.

Lead photo by

George Hornaday


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

These are the rules for seeing other people during lockdown in Toronto

This is what's open and closed in Toronto during lockdown

Man building homeless shelters threatened with legal action by City of Toronto

Shoppers jammed Yorkdale and other malls in Toronto ahead of lockdown

Big box stores in Toronto remain open as independent local shops forced to close

This is what Toronto looked like after its first record-setting snowfall of the season

These are the rules for leaving your home during lockdown in Toronto

Doug Ford urges people to stop panic buying in response to lockdown