Lake Simcoe ice not safe, police warn after 2 escape sinking car

Two people escaped without injuries after their car broke through the ice on Lake Simcoe north of Toronto on the weekend, but police say the incident serves as a warning for motorists thinking of driving onto frozen waterways.

'It was 12 degrees, man. What were they thinking?,' local resident says

A car sank into Cook's Bay, the southernmost bay of Lake Simcoe, in Keswick, Ont. on Sunday. No one was injured. York Regional Police say no ice is ever completely safe. (Bruce Colero)

Two people escaped without injuries after their car broke through the ice on Lake Simcoe north of Toronto on the weekend, but police say the incident serves as a warning for motorists thinking of driving onto frozen waterways.

"You never know," said Const. Laura Nicolle of the York Regional Police.

"Ice conditions can change drastically. It's not safe to go out on the ice in a vehicle. I would be cautious about driving on it at all."

Police got a call about the car about 300 metres out on the ice in Keswick, Ont. at about 2 p.m. on Sunday. 

The front end of the Silver Audi S8 was submerged in the lake and the two occupants of the vehicle, a man and a woman, were out of the car when police arrived.

"They heard the ice crack and the front of the car started to sink. They were able to get out."

Nicolle said no crime occurred and police assisted the pair. 

Car didn't sink right away

Bruce Colero, a Keswick, Ont. resident who took a photo of the car in the ice and posted it on Facebook, said it took tow truck drivers at least four hours to pull the car out.

It happened on Cook's Bay, which is the southernmost bay of the Lake Simcoe, about 60 kilometres north of Toronto.

"It was 12 degrees, man. What were they thinking?" Colero said.

Colero says Lake Simcoe is behind his house, and when he came home on Sunday afternoon, there were at least six police cars on his street. He went behind his house to check it out.

"The car didn't sink immediately," he said. "When I got there, I thought, oh god, it's a raid."

Colero said several local people urged the couple not to drive out on the ice but they wouldn't listen. 

"Insurance doesn't cover stupidity," he said. "The car is done. It's a writeoff."

His photo on Facebook has gotten about 2,600 shares since he posted it.

Warm weather means unstable ice

In a February new release about Lake Simcoe ice conditions, York Regional Police say warmer than usual weather has made the ice unpredictable and dangerous.

Police recommend checking with ice hut providers for the latest conditions, who check the ice thickness daily, but said no ice is ever completely safe.

They say Lake Simcoe and surrounding waterways still have large sections of open water. As new ice continues to form, it can be relatively thin.

While sections of new ice may appear to be snow covered and stable, police say conditions can vary from area to area and can pose a risk.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.