Flooding in Ontario

by | May 11, 2017 | Brighton Ontario, Canada | 10 comments

Update on Flooding in Ontario

Since posting this blog three weeks ago, flooding has abated in Quebec and worsened in Ontario. Water levels in Lake Ontario have shattered all records and are now 33 inches above normal. Toronto beaches have disappeared and the Toronto Islands are now 50% under water. Here is an excerpt from a feature article in the Toronto Star on flood conditions on Toronto Islands

The animals have taken back the waterlogged Toronto Islands. First came the carp, who swam through the infield of a flooded baseball diamond. Then the waterfowl, who paddled in gaggles on what used to be parkland. By Friday, a peacock who wandered away from the Centreville Amusement Park had found folks on Ward’s Island to feed him. City crews, meanwhile, pumped water off the islands after one rain storm, while filling heavy duty sand bags to prepare for the next one. The fight against flooding suffered a serious setback Thursday, as heavy rains and high waves combined to submerge nearly half the islands land.

Below is the original post:

Ontario and Quebec are in the midst of unprecedented flooding

The sun is shining, the tulips are blooming and spring is here. All is well with the world … unless you live anywhere near water in Ontario and Quebec. Rain, rain and more rain in April and early May have resulted in swollen rivers and lakes. We have a cottage on Lake Ontario in Brighton, east of Toronto. I am on flood watch this week … and for the next two weeks. Water levels are not expected to peak until the end of the month.  

This is our deck that overlooks Lake Ontario

This is what our deck looked like last spring. It still looks like this today. Water levels have not reached the deck or the cottage.

So far, Lake Ontario has risen 21 inches. Water levels will continue to rise over the next couple of weeks, anywhere from another inch to 10 inches.

The water has breached our rock breakwall and is creeping up the lawn. If it rises another 6 inches, it will reach the deck. If it rises 12 inches, it will lap the foundation. A few more inches and we will have a problem. I am cautiously optimistic that we will not have a problem. We have two sump pumps in the basement so even a worst-case scenario is not disastrous.

Last week, during the worst of the rains, a ferry was on stand-by to evacuate the Toronto Islands. It didn’t come to that but they are not in the clear if water levels continue to rise as predicted.

Here is a link to a CBC article on sandbagging efforts to save the houses on Ward’s Island. Homeowners east of Toronto are in much worse shape as they prepare for more rain on the weekend.

Montreal and many other municipalities have declared a state of emergency.

The Canadian military has boots on the ground … and in the water … sandbagging shorelines. It seems odd that in an era of high-tech defence systems, a bag of sand is the best defence against rising waters.

Here is a link to an update on the situation in Quebec.

After I assured myself that our cottage is safe, I drove around town to survey the situation and snapped a few photos

Not a good spot for a picnic

There is a municipal park just down the street from our cottage. It offers great views of Lake Ontario but the dress code for today’s picnic is boots. Our cottage is on Presqu’ile Bay, protected from the open waters of Lake Ontario by Presqu’ile Provincial Park.

This is not a good day to launch a boat

This is a public dock in Presqu’ile Provincial Park.

The swans like the high water at Gosport Marina in Brighton

The swans have expanded their territory … to our lawn

In the early spring and late fall, dozens of swans congregate on the lake in front of our cottage. However, they get very territorial during the nesting season. One couple stakes out an exclusive territory and drives out all other swans.

This swan and his mate have a nest just a few hundred feet from our cottage. They return to the same spot every year and spend the summer in the lake in front of the cottage. The swans love coming onto our lawn but under normal conditions, they find it difficult to navigate the rock breakwall. Now that the breakwall is breached, they just swim onto the lawn. It is like a swim-up bar for swans!

Swans can be very aggressive in defending their territory. In a showdown over who owes the lawn, the swan wins. I backed up and retreated to the deck.


If you can see the water droplets on a swan, you are too close!


Once the swan gave me the evil eye, I ceded the lawn

Once the male swan claimed victory, the female joined him for a lovely afternoon on my lawn

I dragged a lawn chair to the edge of the submerged lawn

Does grass grow when it is submerged?

If you have lost your lawn to floods and swans, you may as well relax on a lawn chair, open a beer and join the swans.

Rose Ann MacGillivray

Rose Ann MacGillivray

World Heritage Traveller at BoomerVoice.ca
I love visiting World Heritage Sites, celebrating the world’s most fascinating places and cultures, and most of all, having fun on a trip. Join me on the road to fun and fascinating places. Thanks for reading – and remember to add your e-mail below for updates!
Rose Ann MacGillivray

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