Toronto

Fast-moving system rolls through GTA with heavy rains

Heavy rain and thunderstorms hit much of the Greater Toronto Area late on Saturday. Both Toronto and parts of the GTA were under a severe thunderstorm warning as a fast-moving system rolled through.

Severe thunderstorm warning, watch ended

A long lineup of Toronto Raptors fans during a downpour ahead of Saturday's game with the Milwaukee Bucks. (Michael Rich/CBC)

Heavy rain and thunderstorms hit much of the Greater Toronto Area late on Saturday. Both Toronto and parts of the GTA were under a severe thunderstorm warning as a fast-moving system rolled through.

Environment Canada lifted the severe thunderstorm watch and warning shortly before 7 p.m.

Heavy downpour brought the 2019 CBC Music Festival — underway at Toronto's RBC Echo Beach — to a temporary halt.

Hundreds of people were forced to seek shelter at the Budweiser stage.

Hundreds of people at the 2019 CBC Music Festival were forced to seek shelter at the Budweiser stage. (Amara McLaughlin/CBC)

Meanwhile, Toronto Raptors fans were delayed entry into Jurassic Park, the NBA team's outdoor fan zone, after the storm rolled into the city.

Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference final between the Raptors and the Milwaukee Bucks saw fans lining up to pack the space on the west side of Scotiabank Arena.

But the severe thunderstorm warning and heavy rain prompted Toronto police to post on Twitter just after 6 p.m. that they wouldn't open Jurassic Park on schedule because of safety concerns.

That ban was lifted just before 7 p.m., after the rain let up.

Toronto police tweeted that they had assessed the situation and decided it was safe to open the square.

By then, a long lineup of fans had snaked around Scotiabank Arena, passing neighbouring Union Station in downtown Toronto.

Earlier in the day social media was abuzz with talk of organizing viewing parties, blowing off long-held plans to tune in the game, and finding ways to modify previously scheduled events to include their favourite team.

With files from The Canadian Press

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