Toronto’s Response to 2013 Storms & Future Weather Emergencies: Give Your Input May 9-30, 2014

Extreme weather events occurred in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, ranging from severe flooding to ice storm havoc in 2013.

Research shows extended cold snaps like we’ve seen this winter could be a direct result of climate change….

…while the climate (or average global temperature) of the Earth heats up, the weather in every region won’t necessarily follow suit. Places prone to warm weather will see extended droughts, while much of Canada may experience more extended cold snaps…

The sort of confusion we’ve seen in the public around this issue belies a misunderstanding of the difference between climate and weather, said Dr. Altaf Arain, director of the McMaster Centre for Climate Change in Hamilton, Ont. He thinks people tend to look at their local weather for evidence of climate change, when really it’s the global average that shows the trend.

“When people see one month of extreme cold, they say ‘What happened to global warming?’” said Arain, a professor in McMaster University’s School of Geography and Earth Sciences. “But if you look globally, it’s -23 C in our region, but in Australia, in Europe the temperatures are much warmer than usual…”

Increased rains, flooding, snowfall and temperature shifts come with a cost, particularly as buildings, streets and cities face weather extremes for which they weren’t built.

On the ecosystem side, the costs come slowly. But burdens on insurance, damage to infrastructure, increased energy bills; these are happening now.

CTV News:

This video presents “Toronto Ice Storm 2013 – Branch Falling.”

  • Branch falling and hitting street light on Wanless Ave (just missed a transformer).

This video presents “TORONTO FLOODS Commuters Stranded By EXTREME WEATHER.”

  • A severe thunderstorm causes flash flooding in Toronto during the evening rush hour on Monday, causing chaos on the roads and shutting down the city’s transport network.

The City of Toronto is seeking your input on the following concerns:

  • The City’s response to the July 2013 flood and the December 2013 ice storm.
    • What worked well in their neighbourhoods?
    • What needs improving?
  • How the City can support its residents in future weather emergencies?

On January 10 and 13, 2014, City Council considered the report Impacts from the December 2013 Extreme Weather Event on the City of Toronto and requested the City Manager, in consultation with Agencies and Corporations, including Toronto Hydro, to review the City’s emergency response to the storm and develop recommendations to improve the management of future emergency events.

On April 1, 2 and 3, 2014, City Council adopted the report December 2013 Extreme Winter Storm Event– Provincial Funding Request and Structure of Comprehensive Reviews, outlining the public consultation process.

Here are two ways that you can give your input.

  1. An online feedback form will be available on 9 May until 30 May 2014  (Phase 1).
  2. Four public information and consultation sessions be located at these City civic centres (Phase 2).
    • Monday, May 12: Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr., 6 to 9 p.m.
    • Tuesday, May 13: Toronto City Hall (Rotunda), 100 Queen St. W., 6 to 9 p.m.
    • Wednesday, May 14: North York Civic Centre, 5110 Yonge St. 6 to 9 p.m.
    • Thursday, May 15: Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall 6 to 9 p.m.
  • Each sessiont will start with an open house at 6:00 pm.
  • A brief presentation followed by questions and answers will begin at 7:00 pm.
    • ASL sign language interpretation will be available from 7:00 pm onwards.
  • Participants can join small group discussions starting at 8:00 pm.
  • All locations are wheelchair accessible.
  • If you require other support to participate in these events, please contact us at or call 311.

Phase 3: May 30 – June 17, 2014

  • Staff review and analyze all data collected; develop report for City Manager.

Phase 4: July 2014

  • City Manager reports to July 2nd meeting of the Executive Committee on the outcomes of the City’s review.
    • The City Manager’s report will include recommendations and identify any further work required by staff to improve the City’s response to future emergency events.
    • Any “resiliency” motions approved by Council that do not relate specifically to the emergency response will be incorporated into a Resilient City report that may be brought forward to the June 23, 2014 Parks and Environment Committee.
  • All reports, summaries and raw data posted online.

Please click here for more details.

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Contact Info

  • Information on fares, routes, schedules and service.
    • 416-393-4636 (INFO)
    • Recorded information available 24 hours daily.
    • Operator-assisted service is available from 8:00am to 6:00pm daily, except statutory holidays.
    • TTY Hearing Impaired Service, 416-481-2523, Daily, 8:00am-6:00pm; except statutory holidays.
  • Main Switchboard
    • 416-393-4000
    • Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm

City of Toronto Contact Info

Phone within Toronto city limits: 311.

Phone outside city limits: 416-392-CITY (2489)
(can be used within Toronto if you can’t reach 311).

TTY customers: 416-338-0TTY (0889)
Fax: 416-338-0685

If your matter is urgent, please call them. They are open 24/7.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


April 25, 2014

Public consultation on City of Toronto’s response to the 2013 storms and future weather emergencies

The City of Toronto is looking for public input on the City’s response to the July 2013 flood and the December 2013 ice storm. From May 9 to May 30, residents are invited to tell the City what worked well in their neighbourhoods, what needs improving, and how the City can support its residents in future weather emergencies.

The City has scheduled four public information and consultation sessions at City civic centres and has launched a consultation website at

Each public session will start at 6 p.m. with information and displays about weather and emergency preparedness. At 7 p.m., staff will provide a formal presentation, take questions and hear remarks from the public, and facilitate discussions on the best ways to weatherproof Toronto in the future. Venues are accessible and ASL interpretation will be provided.

• Monday, May 12: Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr., 6 to 9 p.m.
• Tuesday, May 13: Toronto City Hall (Rotunda), 100 Queen St. W., 6 to 9 p.m.
• Wednesday, May 14: North York Civic Centre, 5110 Yonge St. 6 to 9 p.m.
• Thursday, May 15: Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall 6 to 9 p.m.

All residents, whether they attend the public sessions or not, are encouraged to fill out an online feedback form on the consultation website starting May 9. The website also includes background reports, emergency preparedness resources and further information on how the public can provide input. All public input must be received by May 30.

The City Manager will report back to the City’s Executive Committee on July 2 on the outcomes of storm-related reviews undertaken by the City and Toronto Hydro, and this public consultation. Public input will be posted on the consultation website and the City’s Open Data website.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.


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