Severe thunderstorm watches, warnings for GTA end

A line of thunderstorms moved through southern Ontario on Wednesday, prompting weather watches and warnings to be issued in a number of areas, including the Toronto region.

Environment Canada warned that the thunderstorms were capable of producing strong winds, heavy rains and a tornado. Just around 3 p.m., the federal agency issued several weather advisories for a swath of cottage country, including a tornado warning for Barrie, Collingwood and Hillsdale areas.

All tornado and severe thunderstorm watches and warnings were later lifted and changed to rainfall warnings on Wednesday evening. Environment Canada said those areas could see up to 40 millimetres of rain.

The Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) said the thunderstorms that rolled through the region caused significant damage to trees at the Elora Gorge Conservation Area.

“As a result, the property has been closed to day-use access and new overnight camping reservations until further notice. Those guests with campsite and tubing reservations for the remainder of this week will be contacted directly regarding their bookings,” the GRCA said in a post on its website.

There were also watches and warnings in the Greater Toronto Area. Parts of Peel Region and Halton Region were under a severe thunderstorm warning, with Environment Canada advising that a tornado is “possible.”

In Toronto, York Region and Durham Region, a severe thunderstorm watch was in effect as the areas could see wind gusts near 90 kilometres per hour, nickel-size hail and rainfall amounts possibly over 50 millimetres.

All watches and warnings in the GTA ended just before 8:30 p.m.

Cloudy and wet conditions will continue through Thursday in Toronto with a 60 per cent chance of showers and a risk of a thunderstorm. The high will be 29 C with a humidex of 37.

The sun will return on Friday with a high of 28 C.