The Downsview Tornado (DONE)

Photogenic but damaging tornado rips through Toronto suburb, buildings battered

Around 7:30 on a particularly muggy evening of August 14, this unusual tornado developed and tracked 4km through the heavily populated Downsview area of North Toronto.

A supercell rapidly developed as a result of convective cells merging over North York. It began to show signs of tornado development with converging winds observed just south of York University. Within minutes a rotating wall cloud had formed and the storm was noticed moving in an atypical southwest motion.

Shortly thereafter the tornado was established near Jane Street and Frith Road where bushes were uprooted. Maintaining its southwest course, the 100m wide tornado entered the dense neighborhood. The first seven houses to receive damage were located on Bartel Drive, Brewster Cresent, Ricklan Drive, and Stanley Road. On Brewster, one house had half of its roof ripped off. Another house on Ricklan also partially lost its roof and suffered complete removal of the garage roof.

14 houses on Laura Road, Honeywood Road, Lomar Drive received damage. On Honeywood, half of another house’s roof was removed along with its entire garage roof. The debris was flung across the street into the middle of another house causing significant damage. Nearby on Lomar Drive more minor and superficial damage was done to houses lining the street including a collapsed chimney, TV aerial, and fence which was knocked over.

The tornado crossed over Highway 400 at Sheppard Avenue West knocking down a telephone pole and light standard. On the other side of the highway, it struck the Eaton warehouse, Woolco warehouse, Kinney warehouse, and the King Koil factory. The Eaton warehouse, a massive building, had a distinct line of ripped-up roofing material through its west side. Its debris was scattered throughout the property.

Also in this area at 3035 Weston Road was the Bedford Bedding and Upholstery building. This large brick and concrete block structure had its north wall and most of its roof collapse

Along Weston Road, five houses were lightly damaged near and along Burgundy Court. A house at 3022 Weston had part of its roof removed.

The tornado continued into the Humber River Valley where it damaged a narrow swath of trees before lifting off in the at the River itself.