May 31, 2017
City of Toronto extends permit cancellations on Toronto Island Park due to flooding
Due to the continuing flood conditions on Toronto Island Park, permit cancellation has been extended to July 31. More than 300 permits for about 90 groups or individuals have been affected by flooding. City of Toronto staff are working with permit holders to provide any available options for rescheduling or relocating their events. Permits that cannot be rescheduled or relocated will be refunded through the usual processes. Permit holders should call 311 for assistance.
City-run recreation programs on Toronto Island Park are also cancelled through to July 31, affecting approximately 350 summer camp registrants. City staff will work with parents/caregivers on a case-by-case basis to find accommodations in other programs or issue refunds if needed.
City of Toronto staff continue to monitor flood conditions on Toronto Island Park and implement mitigation efforts across the city's waterfront areas to reduce impacts.
Toronto Island Park remains closed to the general public and ferry service continues to be restricted to island residents and authorized personnel only. Toronto Island Park remains closed as water levels are still high and more than 40 per cent of the park is under water. Roads throughout the islands remain waterlogged – residents are cautioned to not drive into waterlogged/flooded roads.
More than 40,000 sandbags and 1,000 metre bags (large capacity bags) have been placed on Toronto Island Park. Nine industrial pumps are being used to remove surface pooling, and landscaping elements such as armour rock, gravel and earth-moving techniques have been employed where needed to mitigate flooding impacts.
Environment Canada has reported that water levels in Lake Ontario appear to be stabilizing however, even at the current conditions, it will take several weeks or more for water levels to subside.
The City continues to work closely with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) to monitor water levels. Urban Forestry staff are inspecting the integrity of trees that may be compromised by flooding and fortifying or removing as necessary.
All 11 City-managed beaches have large sections that are underwater, including the three closed beaches on Toronto Island Park. As of June 3, Toronto Police Service (TPS) will begin providing lifeguards at some mainland beaches where possible. Staff will continue to monitor the situation and TPS will continually increase lifeguard levels as beach conditions require. Public Health will begin posting results of beach water quality tests on June 6.
Beach status updates will be available at http://ow.ly/L10T30ccbdj.
Other beach amenities such as dog parks, boardwalks, playgrounds, volleyball courts, boathouses, washrooms and other facilities may be inaccessible. Residents are cautioned to follow the instructions of any posted signage and avoid areas that are flooded or waterlogged.
Ongoing service impacts to Toronto Island Park
• Toronto Island Park remains closed to the general public and ferry service continues to be restricted to island residents and authorized personnel only.
• Due to the extremely high water levels, water taxi operators have been notified that significant restrictions have been placed on where taxis can dock on the islands. Water taxis are run by private operators.
• The Toronto District School Board has relocated students from the Toronto Island Public Natural Science School to Nelson Mandela Public School for the remainder of the school year.
• Centreville remains closed. Staff are monitoring the situation and will work with the operator to open the attraction once water levels have receded to safe levels. Updates are available at http://www.centreisland.ca/.
• Billy Bishop Airport is operating as usual. Passengers are always encouraged to check flight status before heading to the airport to ensure that their flight is on schedule. http://www.portstoronto.com.
Latest flooding impacts and updates throughout the city:
This "once in 100-years" flooding event will leave its mark on the topography of the shoreline. It's too early to tell what extent the damage will be, but early indications point to reduced and changing shorelines. Staff will inspect the damage both on the mainland and at Toronto Island Park once the water recedes. Staff will report to City Council on the state of the shoreline and waterfront infrastructure, and on the financial impacts of the flooding.
TRCA asks residents to exercise caution along waterfront areas while high water levels and wind persist. Elevated lake levels combined with wave activity can make those areas dangerous. Additionally, the combination of slippery and unstable banks and cold water temperature could create hazardous conditions close to any river, stream or other bodies of water. All shorelines and bodies of water should be considered hazardous and the public should exercise caution in these areas. Keep children and pets away from the slippery and unstable banks. Avoid areas experiencing erosion.
The Scarborough Bluffs area, in particular, has become saturated with water, making landslides more likely to occur. TRCA has issued a specific warning to members of the public who walk along or up/down the bluffs and signs have been posted in areas where access is temporarily prohibited. The public notice is available online at https://trca.ca/news/scarborough-bluffs-notice-caution/.
Fields of play permits
Heavy rain and flooding on fields of play at City parks may result in permits being cancelled. Updated field condition information is available at http://ow.ly/Np1p30c3eIO.
Responding to flooding/erosion emergencies
Residents can use the City's emergency preparedness guide to be prepared for severe weather events and other emergency situations. The guide is available online at http://ow.ly/S3Vw30c4SXp. More information about what to do during emergencies is available at http://www.toronto.ca/oem.
Residents should call 311 immediately to report flooding in their homes or on public property. Toronto Water crews are available 24/7 to respond to flooding calls. Erosion and other shoreline damage from rain or flooding should be reported to TRCA through their website at https://trca.ca/conservation/erosion-management/report-erosion-hazard/.
Toronto Water infrastructure
Toronto Water reminds the public not to move or disturb any water/wastewater infrastructure, such as manhole or catchbasin covers, as this could create a significant safety hazard. The public can help by removing debris from catchbasins to allow surface water to enter the storm sewer system. Call 311 to report any dislodged manhole or catchbasin covers.
Canadian Red Cross
Toronto residents whose primary residence has experienced water damage as a result of flooding between mid-April to mid-May may be eligible for financial assistance through the Canadian Red Cross. For more information and to apply, visit http://ow.ly/qJTl30c3fsx.
Office of Emergency Management
The Office of Emergency Management continues to actively monitor the flooding situation across the city and co-ordinate resources from among City divisions, agencies and other partners as needed. Once water levels throughout the city and in Lake Ontario begin to subside, cleanup and restoration efforts will begin.
Information to help residents prepare for extreme weather and weatherproof their homes is available at http://www.toronto.ca/extremeweatherready.
Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. In 2017, Toronto will honour Canada's 150th birthday with "TO Canada with Love," a year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/TorontoComms and on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/cityofto.