City trying to clear 'pond' of water from Woodbine Beach shoreline by Canada Day
Steve Rafuse and Katherine DeClerq, CTV News Toronto
Published Wednesday, June 19, 2019 12:46PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 19, 2019 2:14PM EDT
The city is hoping to drain what they are calling a “pond” of water from the shoreline of Woodbine Beach in Toronto’s east end in time for Canada Day festivities.
Much of what is normally a sandy beach has been submerged by water, creating what could be described as an inner lagoon.
Waterfront Parks Manager James Dann told CTV News Toronto that the city is pumping out about 2,600 gallons of water every minute from the beach.
“This is going to take a while to go down,” Dann said. “The lake effect is still high, we are still at record levels and right now we are dealing not only with waves coming over and adding to the pond, we are also dealing with the lake coming up from within.”
According to Dann, the flooding that occurred this spring is a “bigger event” than the flooding of 2017, which resulted in the erosion of parts of the beach shoreline as well as a three-month closure of Centreville on the Toronto Islands.
Dann said that the water levels on Lake Ontario are sitting around 76 meters above sea level. About 35 per cent of the islands are under water, Dann said, but the area remains open.
This year’s flooding has “compromised” beach shorelines across the waterfront, Dann said. Once the water has been pumped from the beach, the city may bring in sand to help repair some of the damage.
“The goal is to have as much water as possible out of the pond by Canada Day to be ready for fireworks crowds,” said Brad Ross, a spokesperson for the city.
Dann said that the city does not have any immediate safety concerns regarding the area impacted by the “pond.”