Ferry to Hanlan's Point suspended as water levels continue to rise

May 31 2019, 1:52 pm

The ferry service that runs from downtown Toronto to Hanlan’s point has been suspended as water levels continue to rise.

As of Thursday, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) issued a shoreline hazard warning, as Lake Ontario water levels reached those of 2017.

“Water levels near Gibraltar Point and along the main road are about 45 cm high right now,” said Brad Ross, chief communications officer for the City of Toronto.

“We have signage and barricades up in the area. People can still get to Toronto Island via Centre and Ward’s Island ferries.”

According to the TRCA, levels are expected to rise for another one to two weeks, depending on the incoming rainfall, as inflows from Lake Erie and outflows from the lake are near equilibrium.

The water level in Lake Ontario is now 75.91 metres above sea level on Thursday, surpassing the previous high of 75.93 metres that was recorded in April 2017.

The high water levels, which aren’t expected to peak for another seven to 10 days, have already resulted in flooding on parts of the island

The TRCA says once water levels have peaked, it will take several weeks to recede back down to normal levels.

However, even while the water recedes, there are still risks during heavy wind or wave activity, which have already occurred more frequently than in 2017.

Currently, any high winds from any direction may result in significant wave action and lake disturbance.

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Dangerous results like shortened beaches, erosion, trail/boardwalk closures, and localized flooding have been observed at the Toronto Islands, Scarborough Bluffs, Sugar Beach, and Woodbine Beach, among many others.

The TRCA has issued a notice of caution specifically for the Scarborough Bluffs due to the potential for landslides.

And the TRCA is saying that these effects will only be exacerbated with heavy winds.