HURRICANE HAZEL, OTHER LOCAL CALAMITIES AND THE DRAMA OF DAILY LIFE: Toronto’s west-end in the 50s & 60s

Sunday January 27, 7:00pm

presented by the Home Movie History Project with Heritage York and the Weston Historical Society

On the night of Oct 15 1954 flooding along the Humber River swept away houses built on the valley bottom at Raymore Drive killing 35 people. It was the deadliest effect of Hurricane Hazel when it reached inland all the way from the Atlantic to Toronto. This event has marked the neighbourhoods surrounding the Humber ever since. Dramatic footage shot on the morning of Oct 16th, showing the damage and river still in high flood, is the starting point for our tour through these neighbourhoods as captured in resident’s home movies.

From the hurricane’s varied aftermath filmed by several different families; to a little documentary shot by local nuns of first communion; to a huge smokestack brought down in a demolition explosion; to a trio of middle-aged woman playfully showing off their legs at a rec room party; to the comings and goings along side streets in both Swansea and New Toronto; to the construction of the Gardiner Expressway at Sunnyside; to a train derailment and a later ice jam flood; to a costume parade for Canada’s centennial on Jane St; and to moments snatched from neighbourhood events and gatherings, schoolyards and homes.