As lake flood damage worsens, previously quiet Canadians emerge as critics of IJC

As homeowners along the south shore of an elevated Lake Ontario braced for a new round of winds bringing the potential for flooding, Canadian communities along the north shore turned up their own call for a rethinking of how lake levels are regulated, and both watched for new signs of possible change from lake managers.

“Everybody’s behind giant sandbag walls,” described Sarah Delicate with the Canadian lakeshore community advocacy group, United Shoreline Ontario. “I myself have eight pumps at the ready.”

Delicate’s Town of Bowmanville, Ontario, east of Toronto, suffered extensive damage when high lake levels brought floods in 2017, then faced even worse conditions when the lake reached still higher record levels this spring.

“We’ve had four significant flood events since May 1 and people just cannot live like this,” she sighed. “And it’s happening all up and down the Lake Ontario shoreline.”

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