Toronto Islands flood repairs to cost millions

Published: June 29, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



The cost of repairing damage caused by high water on Lake Ontario will cost many millions of dollars, according to the mayor of Toronto. The city’s shorelines and Toronto Islands were hit hard by flooding in April and May, and the bill will be high. Toronto was not the only area along Lake Ontario to be hit.

Toronto Islands are still at risk from the highest May Lake Ontario water in over a century. Currently, sand bags are protecting the islands from further floods.

Mayor John Tory has warned that the lakes must fully recede to normal levels before an accurate assessment of total cost can be made. In a recently published city report, the estimate for total cost is at $4.9 million by the end of July. However, Tory points out this only really accounts for lost revenues from Toronto Islands ferries.

If the ferries that run from the mainland to the islands remain closed through to the end of August, a further $2.2 million will be lost in revenues.

The estimate does not cover added millions of dollars in repair costs for the damaged shoreline and infrastructure. Indeed, Tory says where waters have receded (like in Toronto’s east end), the damage to the shoreline runs into seven figures.

A flood risk remains imminent and waters high, the mayor says it is unclear when the islands will reopen for public visitors.

“We’ll have to watch this thing on a day-by-day basis and see how the weather is,” said Tory.