We're still in winter the City of Toronto is already preparing for the worst. The Toronto Islands area is expecting record water levels this year and the flooding threat is expected to be so great that barriers are already being set up. Much of the Islands is expected to be underwater later this year.
A release issued by the City of Toronto on Tuesday, February 25, warns that water levels in Lake Ontario are already 12 centimetres above their markers this time last year.
In fact, it's thought that this year, the flooding on the Islands will ultimately break May 2019's record of 76 metres above sea level.
In collaboration with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), the city is working on an accelerated flood protection work to lower the impacts of flooding and high water levels.
According to the release, the TRCA and Toronto will begin the flood and erosion control work at Toronto Island Park, as well as several waterfront locations.
"The City is working closely with TRCA to deliver proactive and innovative solutions to mitigate the impacts of high lake water levels and shoreline flooding in Toronto," reads the release.
The defence plans include continuing to supply sandbags to island residents as well as providing service generators and pumps.
Flood preparations have started in Toronto with Lake Ontario water levels significantly higher than this time last… https://t.co/wf3r3AmByD— Mark McAllister (@Mark McAllister)1582758670.0
"These investments in parks and shoreline infrastructure are a critical part of our support for Toronto's ongoing work to protect against future flooding events and improve the city's overall climate resilience," Mayor John Tory says in the release.
The measures are being funded by the City of Toronto and Canada's government, per Tory.
Bad flooding on the Islands is nothing new.
According to CP24, back in 2017, flooding in the area caused millions of dollars of damage to the area. In fact, it was so bad that it forced the City to close the area to non-residents for almost three months.
And, in May last year, the ferry across from the mainland was cancelled indefinitely due to the severity of the flooding, which Tory blamed on climate change.
Since then, of course, a renewed focus on global warming has seen widespread protests in Canada and around the world.
The new accelerated work to combat the expected flooding includes road raising for both Lakeshore Avenue and Cibola Avenue at Toronto Island Park, the construction of a beach curb, increasing seawall heights, and building new barriers, per the release.
"Long-term planning, co-ordination and investments are required to ensure Toronto’s shoreline and waterfront parks are stewarded for future generations," says Jennifer Innis of the TRCA, via the release.
Work will commence this spring 2020.