Toronto

Lake Ontario reaches highest level in recorded history, leaving Toronto Islands bracing for more flooding

Water levels have reached 76.03 metres above sea level, topping the peak of 75.93 metres set in 2017 when the islands were inundated with water.

High winds on Thursday afternoon could lead to waves and water breaches, officials warn

City of Toronto workers have deployed 30 water pumps and 24,000 sandbags in an attempt to hold off rising lake water. (Paul Smith/CBC)

Water levels on Lake Ontario have reached the highest point in recorded history, putting the Toronto Islands at risk of significant flooding.

Current levels have reached 76.03 metres above sea level, topping the previous record of 75.93 metres which was set in 2017 when the islands were inundated with water.

Ferry service to Hanlan's Point has been suspended and the area around Gibraltar Point has been closed off as a result. Worse, strong winds are expected on Thursday afternoon, something that could lead to "significant wave action," local Coun. Joe Cressy warned.

"This is a difficult time for local residents, who are also working tirelessly to protect the Islands. We are all grateful for volunteer assistance from visitors and the public," Cressy said in a tweet.

City officials say the winds and rising lake levels could lead to further breaches of the Islands' shoreline, which has been heavily sandbagged in anticipation of flooding.

Cressy said city workers pumped between 20 and 30 centimetres of water from Algonquin Island after lake water breached the area on Wednesday.

Crews are now working "around the clock" to protect the Islands, he added.

The operation includes 30 pumps, 24,000 sandbags and 30 large meter bags in especially vulnerable areas.

The city has been spending $100,000 per week since April in a bid to mitigate flooding, which devastated the Islands in 2017.

Comments

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.