PhotoTO: Humber On Ice
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PhotoTO: Humber On Ice

Last week’s unseasonably high temperatures, combined with lots of wind and rain, brought chaos to some parts of the city, with roads flooding, power lines collapsing, and trees falling. Chris Dost, a member of Torontoist’s Flickr Pool, captured the devastation at Étienne Brûlé Park, a park alongside the Humber River.
In Dost’s own words:

Every couple years, during the spring thaw, the breaking ice forms an impressive natural dam, forcing the river to flood the surrounding parkland. Back in 1994, city officials used explosives to blow up the ice to prevent extensive flooding further up river.
This year was a bit different. In one week the snow and ice covered river was transformed by the surprise mid-winter thaw and rain. The normally placid river became a raging torrent—effortlessly lifting the jam of ice onto the shore, littering the park with massive icebergs, some larger than an adult, many as wide as an average Toronto backyard.
Anything that stood in the way of the ice was either damaged or destroyed; brand new park benches, cemented to the ground, were severed from their footings. Picnic tables were splintered into pieces, park signs flattened, informational displays destroyed and garbage cans squished or dumped. The nearby tennis courts met a similar fate—ice pushed through the protective fencing right to the clubhouse, littering all the courts and in some cases, pulling up the pillars that hold the nets.

All photos by Chris Drost.