Toronto beach floods threaten 2 historic landmarks

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Toronto beach floods threaten 2 historic landmarks

Crews are working Wednesday to save two east Toronto landmarks after a series of intense rain storms forced waves "further on to Woodbine Beach and Ashbridges Bay than we have seen in decades," according to Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation.

The rising water levels are threatening the 97-year-old Leuty Lifeguard Station, a beloved but aging darling of the The Beach neighbourhood, as well as the three-kilometre boardwalk that runs from Woodbine Beach to Balmy Beach.

The floodwater has also covered about a third of the volleyball courts and the beaches as well, says Matthew Cutler, a spokesman for Parks, Forestry and Recreation. 

In an effort to ensure the short-term safety of the lifeguard station and boardwalk, city staff and the Toronto and Region Conversation Authority are using heavy equipment to build sand berms and to install armour stones, piles of large rocks that protect against wave action and prevent erosion.

Cutler said that the current floods are the most intense in the last half century, but that the city is "constantly monitoring and adapting to manage the waterfront."

"Our shorelines are complex natural ecological systems that evolve and change over time," he adds. "Break walls, dredging, and strategic planting all play a role in minimizing drastic changes in the shoreline."

Officials have asked the public to avoid closed areas of the beach.