ontario storm

Wild and intense Ontario storm leaves a wake of destruction and chaos in Toronto

An intense storm walloped Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area on Saturday, and the region is still picking up the pieces after the fierce system left ten dead, caused extensive property damage, and cut off power to thousands.

It was a weird day for weather, the storm bringing the greatest one-hour drop in temperatures recorded at Pearson Airport in almost 60 years, falling over 12 degrees as storm clouds darkened the skies.

And then there was the wind. Gusts of up to 121 km/h were the strongest recorded since an epic mid-January blizzard blanketed the city, and by far the windiest May 21 on record in the city, with a 50 km/h edge over the next-closest date back in 1958.

Endless photos can be found showing the destruction as the cleanup continues several days later.

But numbers and statistics are only part of the equation, and scenes from the actual storm paint a better picture of what people went through over the long weekend.

The storm hit much of Southern and Central Ontario hard, similar scenes playing out in places like Peterborough, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Ottawa.

Fallen trees and crushed cars weren't the only challenges to getting around the region on Saturday, as even the city's rapid transit system found itself at the mercy of the storm.

A subway train was immobilized after it ran over a fallen tree near Royal York Subway Station, requiring passengers to be evacuated through subway tunnels.

Facades were ripped away from buildings.

Danger can also bring out the best in some people, like the group of Mississauga pedestrians who went above and beyond to assist an elderly person across a treacherously windy street. Seriously, someone needs to find these people and give them a medal.

And while we're handing out awards for people showing kindness during a dangerous storm, it's worth commending this guy who rescued a baby hawk blown from its nest.

There were also lesser heroes, like one attendee at FizzFest at Fort York. A person could be seen calmly enduring the deluge of rain as they stood waiting next to a food truck, all as crowds dashed for cover around the patient patron.

Lead photo by

Jeremy Gilbert


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