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Toronto Urban Legends: UFOs Over Lake Ontario

If your drinking water tastes like ET, maybe it's because there's an alien base in Lake Ontario.

The truth behind the tales people tell about Toronto.

Photo by {a href=""}SnapHappyExpat{/a} from the {a href=""}Torontoist Flickr pool{/a}.

Have you ever been blinded by a flash of light while walking along the shore of Lake Ontario, then awoken 12 hours later face down in some gravel with no memory and your pants on backwards? You probably thought, “Hey, what gives? I wasn’t in the entertainment district last night.”

The mystery may be solved. According to the internet, there’s a UFO base parked right under Lake Ontario.

That’s right, fire up Ask Jeeves and search “Lake Ontario ufo base” and you’ll come across numerous references to the supposed alien hideout—like the paragraph below, from what purports to be an abridged list of all the alien bases on the planet.

Entrances at Lake Ontario possible underwater UFO bases/cities…Ontario “Lights” Orange-colored spheres have been seen coming out of/diving into Lake Ontario. The area of highest activity is between Oakville and Toronto. There may be a connection to the Lakeview Hydro-electric plant [Editor's note: This plant is in Mississauga], as many of these UFOs have been seen heading in that direction.

The source for this surprising information is the aptly titled book Underground Alien Bases, written by one “Commander X.” The book documents eyewitness and photographic evidence of aerial shenanigans over and around the lake that are supposed to have taken place over a number of years.

Unfortunately, these accounts are unconfirmed by other sources, and the enigmatic Commander could not be reached for comment directly or via his publisher, whose email address is “” And while keeping a low profile is just good judgment when you’re wikileaking the secrets of mega-cephalic anal-probers, it’s problematic when it comes to verifying the stories.

Another source claiming unearthly phenomena in our water supply is the now out-of-print book The Great Lakes Triangle, published in 1977, when the concept of triangles where vehicles vanish was still firing the public imagination. Author Jay Gourley claimed that the area around the Great Lakes had an unusually high rate of disappearing ships and planes, and that the disappearances were sometimes associated with strange aerial phenomena. However, Gourley’s theories were swiftly debunked by skeptics, who observed that missing ships are a fact of life on large bodies of water subject to sudden massive storms.

A conversation with Andre Morin, Canadian director of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), unearthed no new information. He could only point us to several of the same websites previously mentioned, all of which lead back to the elusive Commander X.

Of course, people still claim to see strange things over the lake. However, a quick YouTube search demonstrates that video of the events is usually hilariously hoaxed, or so vague and grainy that it could be anything from a distant cell phone tower to a dog vomiting sparklers in a broom closet.

Angus Armstrong, harbour master and chief of security for the Toronto Port Authority, says most sightings of unidentified lights can be explained by the rapid urbanization of the area around the lake. “The other side of Lake Ontario, St. Catharines and around there, used to be much darker. As that’s grown from a sleepy little town, there’s a lot more lights floating and flickering in the sky. And the difference between water and air temperatures can produce some strange reflections.”

Armstrong also cites increased air traffic as a cause of UFO reports, but acknowledges that even he can be fooled. “I’ve gone out there to assist what looks like a vessel in distress, and ended up chasing a light that never gets any closer.”

So the evidence for an alien base isn’t strong. But as any UFO buff will tell you, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and Lake Ontario remains deep and dark, with plenty of room for mysteries.


  • James D Paterson

    Heh, I love conspiracy theorists and other whackjobs who believe that Lake Ontario hides a secret alien base, or even the classic meeting of aliens and U.S. military way back when at Roswell. They make for some good entertainment.

    As for this “book”, if you can call it that, it’d be worth an illegal download, so as to prevent the publisher and author (most likely the same) from receiving anything for such a hilarious viewpoint.

  • Jacob

    Wow. A UFO base under Lake Ontario. I haven’t heard that one since I was in primary school in the ’80s. Man, that story’s been around forever.

  • LakeO

    As a totally ‘normal’ person who does not think there is a UFO base under Lake Ontario, I can tell you that I’ve watched the orange “orbs” over the lake for over an hour one night. I am sure that it was some natural or man made phenomenon (I checked the news the next morning expecting there to be a story), but what I saw was certainly not airplane lights or the lights of another city. They moved erratically, quickly, and in a number of different directions.

    The only plausible explanation that I’ve heard is that they are parachute flares used for practice by the coast guard (the erratic movements are a result of the parachutes being blown around).

    I agree that most of the videos online are just planes or something similar. You really have to see them in person sometime to know how strange they look and how oddly they move.

    • James D Paterson

      Did the orange “orbs” talk to you? Caress you? Make you think you’re only seeing things? Have you checked out CamH lately?

      • DonnaSweeney

        Hey james you know shit I have seen and have pics your the flake that shouldn’t have been

    • viceofreason