Rain drains away in Toronto, but commuters still delayed
It was a slow ride into Toronto for many riding public transit Tuesday, as TTC and GO Transit passengers dealt with delays that stemmed from the massive amounts of rain that fell on the city the day before.
On the west end of Toronto's Bloor-Danforth subway line, all stations from Jane to Kipling were shut down as a result of the torrential rain on Monday night.
Seventy shuttle buses were pressed into service to cope with the crush of people who were unable to board a subway as they normally would.
There were problems on surface routes as well.
A giant pool of water on Bloor Street West blocked buses between Islington and Kipling avenues. That prompted many passengers to walk.
For Lisa Kucman, it was her second stressful commute in just 12 hours.
"The bus had to go through massive amounts of water," said Kucman, recalling the journey the day before, "and all the people were holding up their feet."
A month's rain in 2 hours
The TTC was crippled by Monday’s storm, which dumped more than a month’s worth of rain on Toronto in just two hours.
Buses became boats, streetcars stalled and some underground stations saw flooding.
"We faced a major challenge in that at the height of the [rush hour], as you know, the storm hit," said TTC CEO Andy Byford.
"In very short order, my control team were faced with a number of pressing priorities."
Byford said some stations were thrown into darkness when they lost power. Some subway trains were stopped in tunnels.
At Kipling station, the subway tracks were submerged by the rainstorm — and remained that way 24 hours later.
At the end of the business day, the TTC still wasn’t sure when the west-end portion of the subway line would reopen.
GO Transit passengers were also experiencing delays, as the system tried to cope with stations and tracks that had been affected by the heavy rains.
The rain left a Richmond Hill-bound GO Train stranded for hours on water-covered tracks on Monday evening, which resulted in the police sending a marine unit to evacuate the hundreds of people on board.
Hillete Warner told CBC News that being stuck on the stranded train "really was scary," especially when the lights cut out and the passengers "were sitting in pitch black."
For air travellers, the rain-related problems were easing on Tuesday, though major airlines were asking customers to call ahead before heading to the airport.
Air Canada said its operations were still recovering from the events of the day before and cancellations or delays of some flights at Toronto’s Pearson airport were possible.
WestJet customers were advised to check the status of their flights to or from Toronto before heading to the airport on Tuesday. The airline also said passengers should leave extra time to get there.
The same was true for Porter Airlines passengers intending to fly out of Toronto’s island airport. They, too, were advised to check their flight status before making their way to the airport.
With reports from the CBC's Trevor Dunn and Aarti Pole