Half of Toronto Islands homes still at risk of flooding

Much of the Toronto Islands remain flooded, with crews and local residents still working to pump out flood water as Lake Ontario continues to rise.

Conservation authority staff expect water levels to rise another 5 to 10 centimetres

City crews are fighting flooding on the Toronto Islands with pumps, sandbags, and earth-moving operations. (CBC News)

Much of the Toronto Islands remain flooded, with crews and local residents still working to pump out floodwater as Lake Ontario continues to rise.

Fifty per cent of the houses on the islands are at risk, according to Nancy Gaffney, head of watershed programs with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.

Last year, Gaffney said, water levels peaked in May, but the year before they didn't peak until July.

"We expect it to go up another five to ten centimetres because it hasn't peaked yet," Gaffney said.

Environment Canada has a lower estimate, however. It expects Lake Ontario to rise between one and five more centimetres.

Earlier this week, an estimated 40 per cent of the islands' land mass was flooded, according to city spokeswoman Wynna Brown. Parks staff said that percentage increased after Thursday's rain but the exact amount is not known.

Roads on the islands remain closed, except to emergency vehicles and crews, who are working to mitigate flooding with pumps, sandbags, and earth-moving operations.

Ferry service to the islands is limited, and the Centreville Amusement Park remains shut down for the foreseeable future.

Proposed stormwater fee shelved

At city hall on Thursday night, councilors grilled Mayor John Tory and his political allies for shelving a proposed stormwater fee.

That fee would have shifted more of the cost of flood management onto property owners with hard surfaces like driveways and parking lots, which can contribute to flooding.

The proposed fee will return to council in 2019.

Some trails along the Don River Valley remain flooded. (CBC News)

Meanwhile, other parts of Toronto are still feeling the effects of floodwater. At Ashbridges Bay Beach, 83 out of 103 beach volleyball courts are under water. Some trails along the Don River Valley also remain flooded.

Between March 1 and May 25, the city received 2,278 calls to 311 about basement flooding, compared to 1,660 calls during the same period in 2016, according to Brown.

With files from Chris Glover