Published on Tuesday, 24th Apr, 2018 at 1:33am
Between January and May of last year, the lake level rose by nearly 1.4 meters (4.5 feet), fed by heavy spring rains and snow melt throughout the great lakes basin.
US Army Corp of Engineers
The high lake levels, coupled with a series of southerly storms, created widespread flooding and damage all along the shores of Lake Ontario. In the Beaches, Woodbine Beach was heavily flooded, with carp spawning on what is normally dry sand. Leuty Lifeguard Station was threatened, and only emergency sandbagging and rock armouring operations prevented the landmark from being inundated. The City is spending $200,000 this year to raise the station by 1 to 1.5 meters in order to prevent damage from future flooding.
The high water and storms eroded beaches and undermined parts of the boardwalk along a 2 km stretch of beach front. The shoreline of the dog park was also heavily damaged, with numerous stands of trees destroyed and sections of the park flooded.
Quick action at the time by the City of Toronto and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) helped limit the damage, much of which has since been repaired. By raising the Leuty Lifeguard Station, the City hopes to prevent future damage to the historic structure. The City has also been fighting a losing battle for the last few years against sand and gravel infill of the bay at Leuty, while the dock has been repeatedly repaired and then destroyed by ice, storms and high water.