Spring Safety Message: Be Careful Around Waterways

Be Mindful of Hazardous Conditions On and Around Bodies of Water

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) is reminding residents of the spring safety hazards that exist near bodies of water at this time of year, and urging people to keep family and pets away from the edges of all waterways.

With the arrival of warmer temperatures people look forward to getting outdoors. However, warmer temperatures also usually bring rain, melting snow and shifting ice — all of which can contribute to higher, faster-flowing water in watercourses.

Although TRCA’s watersheds have received above average amounts of snow so far this winter, a few recent thaws have helped to decrease the existing snowpack amount. However, melting snow due to warming temperatures, combined with spring rainfall and frozen ground conditions throughout the jurisdiction could contribute to higher water levels and increase water speeds in local watercourses.

Significant ice cover is present in TRCA watercourses, and active ice jams remain in the Humber River at King Street in Bolton, Broda Drive in Vaughan, and in the vicinity of Old Mill in Toronto.

ice jam on Humber River near Old Mill poses spring safety hazard
Humber River near Old Mill.

Slippery and unstable streambanks and extremely cold water temperatures can also lead to dangerous conditions close to any body of water. Ice jams and ice cover remaining on watercourses or in lakeshore areas will weaken and become unstable with warmer temperatures.

Remember the following spring safety tips:

  • Keep family and pets away from the edges of all bodies of water.
  • Avoid all recreational activities in or around water, especially near ice jams or ice-covered watercourses.
  • Do not attempt to drive or walk through flooded roads or fast-moving water.
  • If you live close to the water, move objects such as chairs or benches away from the water’s edge to avoid losing them during potential spring high water.

For more information on spring safety, contact your local Conservation Authority:

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority 416.661.6514
Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority 905.895.1281
Conservation Halton 905.336.1158
Credit Valley Conservation 905.670.1615
Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority 905.579.0411
Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority 905.885.8173
Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority 705.424.1479
Kawartha Conservation 705.328.2271