Sturgeon Lake, ON F0 Tornado of September 5, 1985

Peterborough - Kawartha Lakes

Shortly after 5:00 pm on Thursday, September 5, 1985 a tornado touched down at the far southwest corner of Sturgeon Lake, north of Lindsay, ON. At a local business, Robinson Automotive, Marine and Rental Supply, the owner heard a roar of the tornado approaching and witnessed it swirling through the trees close to the shop. It then destroyed fences, piled up 12 boats on a drydock, damaging others, and threw a 900 kg trailer about nine metres. The shop sign was smashed and a nearby hydro pole snapped off. Tracking to the east-northeast, it went across Goose Bay as a waterspout, briefly touching down at Ken Reid Conservation Area and on the east side of the bay at Snug Harbour where it dissipated.

Figure 1 depicts the surface analysis at 2:00 pm EDT showing a stationary front across central Ontario. Surface observations in Figure 1 show convergence along the front where convection developed on the afternoon of September 5th.

Figure 1. Surface analysis at 18Z on September 5, 1985 depicting mean sea-level pressure (MSLP) contours, fronts, surface observations and pressure centres (WPC, 2017).

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada (2018), an F0 tornado touched down at 5:10 pm EDT over Sturgeon Lake, ON. The track and width of the tornado was not documented by ECCC. The tornado caused no fatalities, injuries or property damage.


NWS Weather Prediction Center Surface Analysis Archive. (2017). Surface analysis 18Z Thu Sep 5 1985. Retrieved from:

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