Top Tips For Keeping Safe This Spring

March 9, 2023, Toronto, ON — Spring weather is right around the corner, bringing warmer temperatures and new opportunities for recreational activities. However, spring weather can also increase the risk of flooding from melting snow and ice, as well as dangerous conditions in and around lakes and rivers.

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) reminds everyone to practice spring safety and remember the following tips:

  • Riverbanks can become slippery and unstable in the spring due to snowmelt and erosion.
  • Keep family and pets away from the surfaces and edges of all bodies of water to prevent falling through ice, or into cold and fast flowing water.
  • Avoid activities in or around water bodies, especially near ice-covered rivers and streams.
  • Do not attempt to walk, skate, or drive on ice-covered bodies of water.
  • Never drive through flooded roads or fast-moving water.
  • If you live next to a river or stream, move patio furniture or other objects away from the water’s edge to avoid losing them during potential spring high water.
  • Rescuing another person or a pet from icy or fast flowing water is dangerous. If you see someone has fallen in a body of water, call 911 for help immediately.

Significant ice formation on rivers and lakes has not occurred this year due to the milder temperatures throughout the winter, and there have been no reported ice jams. However, any existing ice coverage on rivers, lakes, and ponds will be dangerous, and these areas should be avoided.

Snow amounts on the ground have increased from late winter snowfall accumulations, meaning upcoming warmer spring temperatures and rainfall will contribute to higher and faster water in rivers during the next few weeks.

snow melting in the spring

TRCA continuously monitors the watersheds in its jurisdiction for potential flooding, through the Flood Forecasting and Warning Program, and will continue to monitor watershed conditions throughout the transition to spring.

Spring Safety Facts:

  • Melting snow due to warming temperatures, combined with spring rainfall and frozen ground conditions, could contribute to higher and faster flowing water in watercourses.
  • Slippery, unstable riverbanks and cold-water temperatures can lead to dangerous conditions close to any body of water.
  • Ice and snow cover on rivers and lakes can weaken and become unstable with warmer temperatures.


Spring Lake Ontario Water Levels:

The seasonal rise in water levels for Lake Ontario in the spring is due to the snow and rain runoff from all the river systems that drain into it.

The greatest risk occurs when there are elevated water levels together with an increase in wave action from high winds. Impacts can include shortened beaches, flooding of low-lying areas next to the lake, and erosion to trails and other public spaces.

For More Information, Contact Your Local Conservation Authority:


About Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)

Since 1957, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), as enabled through the provincial Conservation Authorities Act, has taken action to enhance our region’s natural environment and protect our land, water, and communities from the impacts of flooding and increasingly extreme weather events – Ontario’s leading cause of public emergencies.

As the region’s first line of defence against natural hazards, TRCA maintains vital infrastructure and provides programs and services that promote public health and safety, protecting people and property.

TRCA mobilizes a science-based approach to provide sound policy advice, leveraging its position as a not-for-profit operating in the broader public sector to achieve collective impacts within our communities and across all levels of government.

TRCA’s jurisdiction includes nine watersheds and their Lake Ontario shorelines, spanning six upper-tier and fifteen lower-tier municipalities and representing almost five million people, approximately 10% of Canada’s population.

To learn more about TRCA, visit


Media Contact

Crystal Lee
Communications and Media Relations Specialist
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)