lightning toronto

Huge thunderstorm lights up Toronto's sky and the photos and videos are epic

After two days of a brutal, soupy heat wave that felt like it would never let up, Toronto was graced with a brief reprieve of rain last night while under a severe thunderstorm watch that brought high winds, tree damage, flooding, and tornado warnings to other parts of Southern Ontario.

The conditions over the past few days spurred Environment Canada to issue a heat warning and even broke a 168-year-old record in the city before Wednesday night's intermittent showers came, and though the storm didn't hit us too hard compared to other areas of the region, one part of it was definitely something to behold: the lightning show.

The night sky was completely lit up by bright flashes behind the thick cloud cover, lending a very eerie vibe to an otherwise stifling summer night.

Residents took to their balconies to watch, and some of the photos and video footage captured as a result were absolutely breathtaking.

The sky appeared menacing, with the promise of huge downpours that never really came in full force. Instead, we got spurts of showers that came on randomly and seemed to fade just as quickly.

The lightning, meanwhile, was constant, continuing in bursts for hours.

While some clips show it pulsing bright behind the cloud cover, others show it crackling across the entire sky, which looked extra cool from high up vantage points.

Footage absolutely abounded on social media, with people in absolute awe of the natural phenomenon.

Words to describe it included "fun," "spectacular," "crazy," "amazing" and just plain "cool," with many happy they got a front-row seat to the action.

It was definitely a rare and epic performance by mother nature, and it served as a nice distraction from the heat that is persisting into today — though to a slightly lesser extent, thankfully — with temps feeling like 34 C under sunny skies.

Lead photo by


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