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Rebuilding Long Branch after Hurricane Hazel

On Oct. 15, 1954, the most famous hurricane in Canadian history struck Southern Ontario. Hurricane Hazel pounded the city of Toronto with 110 km/hr winds and more than 200 millimetres of rain in less than 24 hours. Bridges and streets were washed out, homes and trailers were washed into Lake Ontario. Thousands were left homeless, and 81 were killed – 35 of them on one street alone.

Soon after Hazel hits Toronto, volunteers are on the scene to help those in need. Hopes rise as water levels drop and traffic from the west may soon resume.
In Long Branch, a city councillor discusses plans to evacuate a whole neighbourhood, purchase the ruined homes and build a park along the river.
• In 1954 Hurricane Hazel caused an estimated $25 million in damages -- around $214 million in 2012 dollars.
• After Hurricane Hazel, extensive lands throughout the Rouge Valley were acquired for public ownership to prevent future loss of life and property. This land is a core part of Rouge Park, the largest natural environment park in an urban area in North America.
Medium: Radio
Program: CBC Radio News Special
Broadcast Date: Oct. 14, 1954
Guest(s): Maurice Breen
Reporter: Bill McNeil
Duration: 2:34

Last updated: October 26, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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