Barrie, Ont., residents are taking stock of the considerable damage after an EF-2 tornado struck the city Thursday.
The twister occurred in the mid-afternoon as multiple severe thunderstorms exploded and swept through the southern half of the province. This prompted multiple tornado warnings including for the Barrie area.
After surveying the damage, Environment and Climate Change Canada (EC), and the Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) gave the Barrie tornado a preliminary EF-2 on the Enhanced Fujita scale. It had maximum wind speeds 210 km/h with a damage path that was about 5 km long and up to 100 metres wide.
The twister swept through the southeastern section of Barrie, leaving around two dozens homes significantly damaged, three were completely destroyed, according to Barrie officials.
"Just after 2:30 p.m. Thursday, a tornado tracked from the miniature golf course on Huronia Road and Mapleview Drive (in south Barrie) and continued eastward towards Prince William Way where it caused significant damage on the north side of Mapleview drive," EC said in the summary.
The agency also noted trees were uprooted or toppled, and at least 10 roofs were removed. The second floor was destroyed or removed from two houses and a couple of vehicles were overturned. Roof shingles were damaged or removed from a number of other homes along the damage track from the tornado. The damage track may have continued towards Friday Harbour and over Lake Simcoe.
At least eight people were injured, four seriously, while the other four were treated for lesser wounds, according to Simcoe Paramedic Services.
Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman said all were being treated in hospital, and there were no fatalities reported. "I can't tell you how incredible it is that nobody has been killed," Lehman said at a Thursday evening press conference.
Crews went going door-to-door to check in on residents to see if anyone was trapped.
"This is an incredibly difficult day," Lehman said. "We will respond and rebuild, most of all we want to make sure everyone is safe."
The groups will also investigate possible tornadoes in other locations in Ontario. Damage has been reported in Kawartha Lakes and Innisfil, while visuals of funnel clouds have surfaced in Udora and Manilla.
Below is a selection of social media posts of the Barrie tornado and other storms in southern Ontario, and their aftermath.