Toronto Islands back in business after record-breaking water levels last summer

Half of the buildings at Toronto Islands were at risk due to flooding in the spring of 2017.
Half of the buildings at Toronto Islands were at risk due to flooding in the spring of 2017. Cindy Pom/ File / Global News

Toronto Mayor John Tory says the Toronto Islands are in great shape for visitors as the May long weekend begins.

A press release Friday morning said the ferry started running Wednesday on its usual schedule — every 15 minutes.

Outlined within the document was the work done to ensure long-term flood protection including a three-foot-high by four-foot-long berm (land mass) established, eight sump pumps and 15,000 sandbags at the ready.

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Toronto crews worked alongside the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) to complete the remediation work.

“City staff have been working non-stop for the last 12 months restoring the islands from the flooding damage. If lake levels were to ever rise to the same level as they were last year, the city will not have to undertake similar closures,” said Tory.

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This weekend the islands will have staff and new stations for crowd management to accommodate long-weekend visitors. As well, netting has been added to mitigate bird interference and over 50 seating options have been added to make ferry wait times a little more comfortable.

READ MORE: Flooding-related damage to Toronto’s Centreville Amusement Park pegged at $6M

In the summer of 2017, Toronto saw record-breaking levels for Lake Ontario, reaching a peak height of 75.93 metres above sea level resulting in island closures from early May to the end of July.

The city said the lake is down 45 centimetres from last year.