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River ice shoved onshore in Toronto

Courtesy: Mark Rozitis

Courtesy: Mark Rozitis

Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Thursday, April 3, 2014, 3:51 PM -

The usually neat banks of the Humber River in Toronto were a little more cluttered than usual Thursday, courtesy of what looks a large number of pieces of river ice that have fetched up on shore.

Weather Network cameraman Mark Rozitis heard about the jagged chunks littering the banks of the river Thursday, and went to have a look.

Courtesy: Mark Rozitis

Courtesy: Mark Rozitis

The mess was located along the riverbank at Bloor Street in the Old Mill area.

Rozitis said it didn't appear to have caused major damage.

Courtesy: Mark Rozitis

Courtesy: Mark Rozitis

"There might be minor tree or grass damage, but it's hard to say as it's a sea of ice right now. But other than a big mess I don't think any major damage," he said, adding he spotted at least one pedestrian attempting to navigate the mess on their way through the area.

It's not clear how all that ice got onto the river bank.

The effect looks very similar to the aftermath of an ice shove, where winds, currents and temperature changes can cause chunks of ice in large bodies of water to push up against each other with enough momentum to drive further chunks right out of the water and onto shore.

However, this is more commonly observed in lakes rather than rivers, and depending on how much ice there is, and it's about the time of year when the risk is greatest.

In May 2013, strong winds drove enough ice from Manitoba's Dauphin Lake onto the shore to destroy 13 cottages in the community of Ochre Beach.

That same month, a similar ice shove on Alberta's Lac Ste. Anne damaged several structures in the community of Alberta Beach:

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