Toronto

Flooding recedes at Union Station, Line 3 reopens, after storm drenches city

Flooding has receded in two entrances of Union Station after 35 millimetres of rain fell on Friday in downtown Toronto in the space of an hour.

Environment Canada says 35 mm of rain fell in 1 hour downtown, but forecast calls for drier weekend

A man runs for a train at Union Station early Saturday after flooding receded in the Bay Street walkway. (Muriel Draaisma/CBC)

Flooding has receded in two entrances of Union Station after 35 millimetres of rain fell on Friday in downtown Toronto in the space of an hour.

Pedestrian walkways from Bay and York Streets to Union Station have reopened.

There's no trace of Friday's flooding except for a few small puddles and the odd pylon urging caution because of wet floors.

A yellow pylon urges caution at Union Station after flooding on late Friday afternoon in its Bay and York Street walkways. (Muriel Draaisma/CBC)

Steve Knott, severe weather meteorologist for Environment Canada, based in Toronto, said Billy Bishop Airport reported that 35 millimetres of rain fell at its weather station between 4:10 p.m. and 5:10 p.m. on Friday.

A series of thunderstorms rolled through the city in the late afternoon from northwest to southeast, he said.

The brief but intense storm flooded Union Station walkways on Friday afternoon, forcing officials to close the entrances until the water receded.

44 mm of rain fell in Scarborough

In Scarborough, on the city's eastern edge, about 44 millimetres of rain fell near the Don Valley Parkway and Highway 401, starting at 3:30 p.m. for about an hour.

The TTC closed Subway Line 3 in Scarborough on Friday afternoon because of flooding at Midland Station.

On Saturday morning, TTC Spokesperson Hayley Waldman said that Line 3 is back up and running and Midland Station has reopened.

Waldman said the TTC had closed the line because of concerns that the water could damage the undercarriage of the light rail cars.

Mayor John Tory, speaking to reporters at A Taste of Manila, said storms are a fact of life in Toronto. 'It's why we're investing hundreds of millions of dollars in better storm management,' he said. (CBC)

Toronto Mayor John Tory thought city staff coped well with flooding from the heavy rain but stressed the city has old and inadequate infrastructure that is being replaced and it does get overloaded. Storms, however, are a fact of life, he said.

"It's just a reality," he told reporters.

"It's why we're investing hundreds of millions of dollars in better storm management. It's a reality now that unfortunately we have these storms, largely because of climate change and other things like that. We are going to have to continue work hard to get all the construction done," he said.

"It's a long term job that is getting done year by year by year."

Less humidity in forecast

The forecast for the weekend, meanwhile, calls for drier conditions, less humidity and a mix of sun and cloud, giving Toronto a chance to mop up and dry out after the storms swept through the city.

Saturday's high temperature is expected to be 26 C, with a humidex of 33. The forecast calls for a mainly sunny day but partly cloudy. The low overnight is expected to 17 C.

Sunday's high temperature is forecast to be 27 C, with a humidex of 31. The forecast calls for a mix of sun and cloud. The low overnight is expected to be 15 C.

Knott said: "It's going to be a nice weekend for people to enjoy."

A series of thunderstorms rolled through Toronto on Friday afternoon, bringing heavy rain to some areas. (Amara McLaughlin/CBC)

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