TORONTO (680 NEWS) – Thousands of sandbags are being added to the Toronto Islands as rainy weather and the threat of high winds leave residents and businesses wary of further flooding.
The islands, which can be reached by a short ferry ride from downtown Toronto, are largely parkland, with some neighbourhoods with small homes, cafes, and city-run buildings.
Toronto City Councillor Joe Cressy says city workers and volunteers are in the midst of a three-day campaign to make 10,000 new sandbags to protect buildings as Lake Ontario water levels continue to climb.
“We anticipate it to continue rising for the next six to nine days but we’re looking ahead at Thursday where there’s a significant risk of winds and waves,” Cressy said.
Parts of the islands are already enduring flooding, as evidenced by the video below of a fish swimming across a roadway.
The thousands of sandbags are in addition to aqua dams and the approximately 25 industrial sub-pumps running on the islands.
Even with all that, Cressy says with climate change, it’s not enough.
“It is unacceptable to assume that an annual sandbagging effort is the solution,” he said. “Rather, what will be needed are long-term climate change resilience and adaptation measures so that we ensure we don’t lose the islands to the water.”
Cressy says a report that will outline some ideas to keep the island safe will be released to the Conservation Authority next month.
The islands also flooded in 2018.