Hurricane Hazel - 50 years later October 1954 Hurricane Hazel

Chronology of Storm Events / Hazel Affects Transportation / The Effects of Hazel on Toronto Area Communities / Southern Ontario Impacts /
Recovery / Lives that were Taken

Southern Ontario Impacts


  • Barrie had many flooded basements and damage to roads and sewers that would add up to approximately $10,000 in damages.
  • I.S. McClure of the Municipal Detachment of Ontario Provincial Police at Barrie said: "Our office had three lines and they rang continuously until about 9:00 p.m. when water must have gotten into them and they went dead. The calls were mostly from people whose houses were surrounded by water and who were requesting assistance. All I could do was advise them to remain inside until the water subsided. I had several calls from people who wanted to know if this was the end of the world—something which I was not in a position to answer."


  • Five people in two cars were killed when their automobiles were washed off a bridge.


  • Streets were flooded and Frank J. Joyce was killed when the car he was driving left Highway 7 near Brampton, plunging into a 14-foot ditch. (Globe and Mail, October 18, 1954)


  • Sixty families were forced to evacuate to avoid floodwaters. (Globe and Mail, October 18, 1954)


  • Fifteen-hundred chickens were swept away on flats bordering a creek.


  • A newly constructed hospital was damaged in the flood, costing $10,000, as the water rose seven feet in the basement, ruining chemicals, bandages, blankets and other equipment. The hospital proceeded to open, but patients would not be allowed into the facility until December 1st.

Grand Valley

  • South-end residents were marooned as they were cut off from the town by the Grand River, which rose 10 inches in 20 minutes flooding the area. (Globe and Mail, October 16, 1954)


  • Three people were rescued when their car stalled in a pool of water four feet deep.
  • The heavy rainfall resulted in landslides on Mountain Brow, which blocked off the Mountain block from James Street to Flock Street.
  • Falling trees and downed power lines blocked the road linking the QEW.
  • Underpasses at John Street and Victoria and Birch avenues were flooded, and James Street suffered cave-ins.
  • Area basements were flooded.

James Bay

  • Hazel passed the James Bay area near Moosonee, bringing strong winds and precipitating snow in the northern areas.


  • The 'tent city' at the International Plowing Match east of Kitchener was damaged.

New Tecumseth

  • Seventeen bridges were damaged or destroyed at a cost of $10,000 each. (Examiner, Barrie, September 16, 2003)


  • 15 families were forced to evacuate as a swollen section of the Humber River overflowed and Coldwater, a community located 12 miles west of Orilllia, was evacuated after the town was flooded. (Toronto Daily Star, October 16, 1954)


  • Estimated damage in the Oakville area was $500,000, which included approximately 26 boats that were either sunk or damaged. (Globe and Mail, October 18, 1954)


  • There was a blackout in the town from Hazel. (Globe and Mail, October 16, 1954)


  • At Lansdowne Park, where the Argonauts were scheduled to play the Rough Riders, a fence was blown down by Hazel. Officials worried that many fans would pass through the hole in the fence without paying admission to the game.
  • George Auger, a 22-year-old man from Hull, Quebec, was killed as he tried to move a tree that had fallen because of Hurricane Hazel, downing a power line.


  • Early damage estimates for the community added up to $250,000.
  • Damage reported included holes in sidewalks, undermined bridges, flooding along Main Street, a planning mill ripped from its foundation and washouts on a parking lot that dropped cars into a newly-formed hole.


  • A car plunged into the Don when a culvert on Highway 11 north of Highway 7 was washed away. The three occupants were rescued.


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