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Recalling the historically bad commute when the GTA flooded in 2013

Thursday, July 8th 2021, 8:40 am - On this day in weather history, the Greater Toronto Area was flooded.

Listen to The Weather Network's This Day in Weather History podcast on this topic, here.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features stories about people, communities, and events and how weather impacted them.


On Monday, July 8, 2013, Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) flooded. A storm brought 126 mm of rain to Toronto, Ontario, causing the worst flooding since Hurricane Hazel in 1954.

Mississauga, located in the GTA, also received copious amounts of rain, causing a power outage for 80 per cent of the population (which was 745,000 at the time).

The extreme flooding was caused by two separate storm cells simultaneously moving over the area and then stalling.

"It is really, probably the most intense, wettest moment in Toronto's history," said David Philips, Environment Canada senior climatologist.

flood (The Weather Network)

"No infrastructure could handle just have to accept the fact that you're going to be flooded," Philips added.

flood (The Weather Network)

In Toronto, many subway, bus, and streetcar services halted. The streets were flooded, and water rushed into the city's subway system as well. And all of this flooding occurred during rush hour.

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Around 1,400 people were stranded on a GO Transit train, and water overtook the tracks and cars. Emergency response personnel ferried the passengers to dry land with inflatable boats.

Unfortunately, by the time many people arrived home, they were greeted with a flooded house.

By Tuesday, 35,000 customers were still without power.

flood (The Weather Network)

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, the flooding caused more than $850 million in damage. The City of Toronto dedicated $3.1 billion to flood control expenditure. The commitment spans 10 years, beginning in 2014.

To learn more about the 2013 GTA floods, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features unique and informative stories from host Chris Mei.

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