May 5, 2017 – Update on City of Toronto efforts to prepare for heavy rainfall
The forecast for the next 48 hours has not changed – Environment Canada continues to predict between 40 and 70 millimetres of rain for the Toronto area. This rainfall may have significant effects on the City’s river systems and the water levels of Lake Ontario. The City and agencies including Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) continue to monitor the situation and work with residents to prevent or minimize flooding and related problems. Additionally, Toronto has already received more than 100 mm of rain since early April, which has resulted in some flooding in low-lying areas and the waterfront.
Depending on conditions, the Don Valley Parkway may be closed as of 3 p.m. on Friday, May 5 due to anticipated flooding and to protect public safety – updates on this potential closure will be issued as they become available.
Residents are reminded to stay clear of rivers and streams throughout the city and to take precautions to protect their properties. During heavy rain storms, residents are advised to avoid travel, not drive into standing water and use appropriate caution while driving, especially near pedestrians. Remember to check in on elderly neighbours or other people who may need assistance.
All parts of Toronto can be affected by flooding and there may be little or no advance warning that localized flooding is imminent.
City crews are working to keep catch basins clear to minimize the risk of road flooding. Residents can assist by removing debris from catch basins on local roads. Crews are monitoring for excessive ponding and flooding and proactively patrolling low-lying areas that have been susceptible to flooding in the past such as the Don Valley Parkway, the Eastern and Western Beaches, areas south of Queen Street, Hoggs Hollow and the Bayview Extension. Residents are asked to call 311 to report any instances of road flooding.
As previously communicated, current water levels in the storm sewer under Lower Simcoe underpass are above the usual catch basin threshold, which has resulted in ponding on the road. Toronto Water has implemented a temporary repair, however temporary flooding could recur. Toronto Water will continue to monitor the underpass.
The City’s sewer system is well-designed to handle most storms, however extreme rainstorms can cause sewers to fill faster than the system can manage, resulting in sewer back-ups. Residents should call 311 immediately to report basement flooding. Toronto Water crews are available 24/7 to respond to flooding calls.
Basement flooding prevention tips and more information about subsidies available through the City’s Basement Flooding Protection Program, are available at http://www.toronto.ca/basementflooding.
Update on island and beaches
As part of the City’s continued efforts to mitigate the impact of wet weather on Toronto Island Park, the following service updates are effective immediately and until further notice:
- Ferry Service and access to Toronto Island Park will be restricted to required individuals only such as residents, staff, emergency personnel.
- Regular ferry service to Centre Island and Hanlan’s Point Docks is cancelled.
- Ferry service to Ward’s Island Dock will continue on the spring schedule with no changes (see the full schedule below).
- If required, vehicles will be transported to Hanlan’s Island Dock on an as-needed basis.
City services and facilities in Toronto Island Park are currently closed or are operating at reduced levels until further notice Five City-managed beaches have already experienced flooding this week and public access to and use of these areas is restricted. Toronto’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation division is working closely with TRCA to complete remediation in these areas.
The City is taking steps to support Toronto Island residents. Updates and further information are available at http://www.toronto.ca/islands or by calling 311.
Information to help residents prepare for extreme weather and weatherproof their homes is available at http://www.toronto.ca/extremeweatherready.