July 10, 2017
City of Toronto staff continue to closely monitor and assess conditions on Toronto Island Park. Full efforts are underway to resume park operations as soon as conditions permit. Currently, the reopening of sections of Toronto Island Park remains on schedule for Monday, July 31. Adjustments to that date may occur and the actual reopening could be sooner or later, depending on conditions. Updates on the timing will be forthcoming.
"The high lake levels and associated flooding have had a significant impact on island residents and businesses – as well as the tens of thousands of people who would normally visit the islands every week during the warm weather," said Mayor John Tory. "This has been an unprecedented event. I thank everyone for their patience. City staff are working hard to get the islands reopened as soon as possible."
The water level in Lake Ontario is receding from this 100-year event, but more slowly than hoped. The water level is still about 30 centimetres above the pre-flood conditions of early April and it is not expected to significantly subside until well into the summer.
While staff are planning for the reopening of certain sections of Toronto Island Park targeted for July 31, some portions of the park will remain closed to the public for the entire summer, including Olympic Island, Gibraltar Point, Hanlan's Beach and sections of Centre Island including the grandstand.
Crews are currently focused on the following priorities to facilitate the park's reopening: public safety matters; protection of assets, infrastructure and the natural environment; and ensuring the safe operation of the ferry service and the large-capacity vessels that are required to transport the high volume of passengers that visit the islands. Last year, there were more than 1.46 million visitors to the park, which is considered one of the gems of the city's park system. The number of weekend visitors can tally more than 20,000 a day during the warm-weather season.
City Council recently adopted a staff report that provides authorization to suspend the collection of rent or licence fees from Toronto Island Park tenants or licensees with the City of Toronto, as approved by the General Manager of Parks, Forestry and Recreation. The report is available at http://bit.ly/2uAEYg6.
Toronto Island Park has been closed and ferry service suspended for members of the general public since early May. All island park permits and City recreation programs are cancelled until July 31. Further information about the flooding on the Toronto islands and other waterfront areas, including the Scarborough Bluffs and mainland beaches, is available at http://bit.ly/2tzD0fC.
This news release is also available on the City's website: http://ow.ly/zIxz30dvv4K
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. In 2017, Toronto will honour Canada's 150th birthday with "TO Canada with Love," a year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/TorontoComms and on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/cityofto.
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