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Ontario already near $1 billion in insured damage in 2018


September 8, 2018   by Jason Contant


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With almost three months left in the year, severe weather in Ontario alone has already caused almost $1 billion in insured damage, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reported Friday.

One of the most recent events occurred Aug. 7, when a thunderstorm produced 72 millimetres of rain over Toronto, with 51 mm falling in just one hour. The rainfall caused extensive flooding across western and central parts of the city, and resulted in over $80 million in insured damage. Global News meteorologist Ross Hull said in August the normal rainfall amount for the entire month is typically 78.1 mm.

Police officers look on as water floods King St. W. during heavy rain, stopping a streetcar in Toronto on Tuesday, August 7, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Shlomi Amiga

Not including insured damage from any smaller storms since the Aug. 7 one, severe weather has caused about $935 million in Ontario, according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. More than half of that amount was due to an early May windstorm that cause over $500 million in damage. The most costly insured severe weather event of all time for Ontario remains the 2013 Toronto floods, which caused almost $1 billion in damage.

Add on the $200 million in insured damage from summer storms in the Prairies in July and August, and between $10-25 million for flooding in New Brunswick in the spring, and Canada has seen more than $1.1 billion in insured damage only nine months into the year.

The August storm resulted in flooding at Toronto’s City Hall, in the Scotiabank Arena during a concert, in parts of the Toronto Transit Commission’s Union Station and in the Rogers Centre parking garage. There was also water seeping through the Rogers Centre roof during a baseball game. Many underground parking garages flooded, and there were numerous reports of submerged vehicles, basement flooding and sewer backups.

Here are the severe weather events in Ontario from January to early August:

  • January: A winter storm in northern, southwestern and eastern Ontario caused $9 million in insured damage
  • February: A winter storm in Brantford, Cambridge, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and London caused over $46 million in insured damage
  • April: A storm in southern Ontario resulted in over $80 million in insured damage
  • April: A storm that hit the GTA, Leamington, Hamilton, Kitchener/Guelph/Waterloo, London/Chatham-Kent and Ottawa-Gatineau resulted in close to $220 million in insured damage
  • May: A wind and rain storm hit Hamilton and the GTA, causing over $500 million in insured damage
  • August: This rainstorm in Toronto resulted in over $80 million in insured damage.