Cambridge, ON F2 Tornado of May 2, 1983

Waterloo - Wellington

The third tornado to touch down on May 2, 1983 occurred around 2:30 pm just south of Kitchener-Waterloo. It began its damaging trek in the suburb of Doon where it unroofed dwellings, blew out windows, and left streets filled in with fallen trees and hydro lines.

Near the Highway 401/8 interchange, major power lines were ripped down, and one pole was left dangling over the 401 at Fountain Street bridge, catching fire.

After crossing the 401, the tornado continued east-northeast along the Speed River toward Speedsville Avenue. There, it unroofed a house and ripped the rear portion off another. A shed was destroyed in one of the backyards where a band of pigeons was killed.

The tornado continued parallel to the Speed River through a wooded area and crossed Highway 401 again near the Grand River and CN Railway corridors. North of the highway, it followed the railway tracks to the Sliknit textile mill where it caused mostly superficial damage, ripping signs from the industrial property and downing trees along Queen Street.

Then, as a final blow, the tornado crossed the river and badly damaged two commercial buildings on Guelph Avenue. One, a closed factory, had part of it’s structure completely destroyed, while the other’s windows, roof, and walls were blown out. As well, a carport was blown onto a neighboring house’s roof on nearby Fisher Mills Road.

After tracking over 10 km, the tornado lifted off shortly after crossing the former Highway 24. Having caused over a million dollars worth of damage to the area, incredibly no one was killed or injured.

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada (2018), an F2 tornado touched down at 2:30 pm EDT near Cambridge, ON and travelled for 10.5 km. The tornado caused no fatalities, no injuries and ECCC (2018) catalogued no property damage.


Environment and Climate Change Canada Data. (2018). Canadian National Tornado Database: Verified Events (1980-2009) – Public. Retrieved from: