Man pulled from Humber today

According to Toronto Police, a 75 year-old man was pulled from the Humber River near Hickory Tree and Lawrence this morning. The rescue was made using a pole to lift the man up to the riverbank. Efforts to revive him were made at the scene and he was transported to hospital in life-threatening condition. It is not yet known how the man entered the water. Read more here.

Humber rises overnight

The Humber river is breaking its banks in several places this morning after a record rainfall for the 11th January. The previous highest rainfall, 22.6 mm fell in 1960. Yesterday’s rainfall for the day was 59.0 mm which for those who still think imperially is 2.3 inches. Unusually for January all the day’s precipitation was rainfall. Because the ground was frozen and unable to absorb the water, it was drained into the Humber, causing the current high levels. Incidentally, the water was still rising at 11:30 this morning. Let’s hope none of our readers were affected negatively by this rain.

Here are a few shots taken along the Humber this morning. I couldn’t venture far into Cruickshank Park as the path was completely flooded. As always, click to enlarge the images.

 

The power of the current is evident from this shot just north of the Lawrence Avenue bridge.

Looking from the Raymore Park footbridge, the old footbridge abutment (centre) is completely covered – a very rare event.
The Humber showing the old bridge abutment in September 2016.
The bike path near the York Weston Tennis Club.

 

The bike path near the York Weston Tennis Club.
Looking downriver from the tennis courts.
Alongside the tennis courts, the water has come quite close.

 

The bike path south of the Lawrence Avenue bridge.

 

North of the Lawrence Avenue Bridge, looking towards Cruickshank Park.

 

No access to Cruickshank Park from the southern end.

 

A closer view of the southern entrance to Cruickshank Park.

Update: Hans Havermann sent a link to his blog showing the high water in Raymore Park.

Today in Weston. January 13, 2018

Ice floes litter the ground in Raymore Park today after Thursday’s rain prompted a break-up of the ice covering the Humber. The river is at the base of the retaining wall on the left of the picture. Click to enlarge.

Almost every year, a warm spell causes the Humber’s banks to flood causing a  break-up of ice covering the river. As the ice breaks up it blocks the flow of water and behind the dynamically forming dam, large chunks float over the now widened river and are stranded there as each section of the ice-dam gives way and the water recedes. It’s a fairly rapid process that’s hard to catch but you certainly don’t want to be in the path of these monsters as they float up to 50 metres from shore.

Floating chunks of ice have destroyed fencing around the sewer re-lining work just north of the weir. Click to enlarge.

Hans Havermann has some excellent images from both sides of the river, taken yesterday while it was still blocked.

Cruickshank Park erosion work winding down.

Cruickshank Park has undergone two recent periods of construction. The first, in 2013 was to extend the Pan Am Path from the north end of the park to Mallaby Park at Weston Road and St Phillips.

The Pan Am Trail extension under construction in October 2013. (File)

The most recent was to do extensive erosion control work on the Etobicoke side. The Humber River was beginning to chew at a Scarlett Road co-op apartment’s playground and would have eventually threatened the whole site. Access for the work was through the Lawrence parking lot and this meant that for all but the most determined, the Pan Am Path northwards to Mallaby was closed.

Looking North from the staging area during construction.

A staging area and bridge to the affected bank on the far side were constructed to expedite access.

The temporary bridge allowed access to the slope rehabilitation work (visible on the far bank).

Toronto and Region Conservation Area Project manager, Courtney Rennie tells me that, “I anticipate opening the trail as early as next week, including removal of the temporary fast fencing around the project limits. There may be intermittent closures of the trail for terraseeding and restoration plantings, however that will only be for a few hours at a time while staff are on site.”

Great news!

Two more murals about to be painted

Artist Jason Baerg. Source: jasonbaerg.com

Urban Arts will be completing two new local murals this month. One will be under the Lawrence Avenue bridge and the other under the Scarlett Road bridge. These will be viewable by pedestrians and cyclists and will have an indigenous people theme. Cree Métis artist Jason Baerg, and his team of mural painters presented ideas for comments last night at the Weston Library. Both murals will be painted on long and narrow bridge abutments that run under the respective roads with a stylized thunderbird theme for the Lawrence bridge and a sweetgrass theme for the Scarlett location.

The indigenous people theme is particularly appropriate since the Carrying Place Trail ran alongside the Humber for thousands of years before European settlement of the Weston area.

The Carrying Place Trail Plaque at Little Avenue and Weston Road at its unveiling in 2013.

Progress reports will be forthcoming.