Still underwater, Toronto Islands prep for a different kind of summer
All 3 island beaches are closed, and events planned in the park are cancelled through to June 30
The Toronto Islands, which normally come alive in warmer months with picnics, beach-goers and special events, are shaping up to have a very different kind of summer.
The City of Toronto issued a release Tuesday that said that even without rainfall, Lake Ontario water levels are expected to rise for several more weeks.
- Toronto Islands residents bracing for lake levels to rise up to 25 cm in weeks ahead
- Tory says homes on Toronto island 'potentially in jeopardy'
As a result, it said, all islands beaches remain closed "until further notice" and all event permits for Toronto Island Park up to June 30th have been cancelled.
For now, the park is completely closed to the general public, and the city has pledged to work with people who had events planned there to move or re-schedule them.
Centreville Amusement Park will also be closed until at least June 30, and regular ferry service to the island remains suspended.
Photos taken around the islands show fish swimming in an enormous pond covering a baseball diamond, people making their way through ponding on boardwalks, and ducks swimming along the submerged Centreville train tracks.
Flooding at Centreville and Far Enough Farm on the Toronto Islands. <a href="https://twitter.com/metromorning">@metromorning</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/mattgallowaycbc">@mattgallowaycbc</a> <a href="https://t.co/q5si6ZddBt">pic.twitter.com/q5si6ZddBt</a>—@LorettaRyan
But it's not all doom and gloom.
Victoria Day fireworks at Ashbridge's Bay will go ahead, with a small tweak: they'll be set off from a barge stationed in the water instead of from the beach.
Toronto beaches on the mainland will also be open for the season on June 1, with people planning to swim advised to check out the city's beaches water quality website before jumping in.
City coordinating with businesses, residents
The city statement said that staff continue to monitor the flooding "on a daily basis."
It added that "wellness checks" by the Office of Emergency Management and the Canadian Red Cross are also planned for Wednesday, intended to help residents who have concerns about remaining in their homes during flooding.
City spokesperson Wynna Brown told CBC Toronto that there is "ongoing coordination" with affected residents and businesses, including the cafes and venues who normally see huge upticks in business during the summer.
Have your summer plans been affected by the Toronto Islands flooding? Email us.