Friday, February 8, 2013

The Great & Deadly Snowstorm of 1944

One of the biggest snowstorms in the history of our city came on December 11, 1944. The forecast called for just a few inches, but instead Toronto got two straight days of wintery fury. The storm killed 21 people. One died when the Queen streetcar was blown over by strong winds. More than a dozen met that most Canadian of ends: death by the shoveling of snow.

The Toronto Star headline the next day declared, "Whole City Stopped as if by Giant Hand." People were trapped inside their homes behind snow drifts. Even the ammunition factory was forced to close — a pretty big disaster in its own right during those final days of the Second World War.

blogTO has more photos and information thanks to a post by Agatha Barc here. And as for this particular picture, I can tell you that we're looking north up Yonge Street toward Richmond just after the storm. That building on the left is gone now, but that other one just up the street is still there. It was the Simpson's Department Store once upon a time. Now, it's home to another one of our oldest companies: The Bay.

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