Toronto Island parks closed until June 30 as water levels continue to rise

In the interest of the public safety of residents, visitors and City of Toronto staff, Toronto Island Park remains closed to the general public due to rising water levels.

This spring, Toronto experienced high levels of rainfall and as a result, Lake Ontario and watershed levels throughout the city continue to rise. The City has been working closely with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to monitor Lake Ontario water levels, which are expected to rise, even without further rainfall, for several more weeks. Even at the current levels, experts advise it will likely take several weeks for the water to subside.

The city’s news release did not provide updates about the school or the RCYC.

Staff continue to evaluate the situation on a daily basis and will make decisions about access and park operations according to conditions. As of today, the following are affected:

Toronto Island Park permits

All permits at Toronto Island Park up to and including June 30 are cancelled due to flooding. City staff are working with permit holders to provide any available options for rescheduling or relocation of their event permits.

Ferry service

Residents are advised to stay away from Toronto Island Park, as many of the amenities, such as parks, trails, beaches and business are closed due to flooding. Limited access to Toronto Island Park is restricted to residents and essential personnel only. More information is available at http://bit.ly/2ajhTmw.

Toronto Island beaches

All three island beaches are under water and are closed until further notice. This includes Hanlan’s Point, Gibraltar Point and Centre Island beaches.

Centreville

Centreville is closed and will remain closed until at least June 30. Staff will monitor the situation and will work with the operator to open once water levels have receded to safe levels. Updates are available at http://www.centreisland.ca/.

Billy Bishop Airport

Billy Bishop Airport is operating as usual with no disruption to service due to pooling water, however, passengers are always encouraged to check flight status before heading to the airport to ensure that their flight is on schedule. Up-to-date information can be found at
http://www.portstoronto.com.

Wellness checks

To ensure the health and safety of Toronto Island Park residents, staff from the Office of Emergency Management and the Canadian Red Cross will be on site to perform wellness checks beginning May 17 at 9 a.m. These checks are intended to assist residents with any concerns they might have while remaining in their residences during this difficult flood event.

Victoria Day Fireworks

Fireworks will go on as scheduled, but will be deployed from a barge stationed in the water, instead of directly from the beach at Ashbridges Bay. The new location will provide for broader viewership along the full length of the eastern beaches from Ashbridges Bay to the RC Harris Water Treatment Plant.

Mainland beaches

Beaches on the mainland will open for the season, with lifeguards in place, on June 1. Residents should visit http://app.toronto.ca/tpha/beaches.html for daily updates on beach water quality.

Information about the beach volleyball courts at Ashbridges Bay is available by contacting the Ontario Volleyball Association by email at info@ontariovolleyball.org.

The City and agencies continue to work with residents to prevent or minimize flooding and related problems. To date, 20,000 sandbags have been placed on shorelines throughout the city and the Toronto Islands and five large industrial pumps are being used to remove surface pooling.

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