In September, 1775, hundreds of boats and their crews were fishing in Placentia Bay off Newfoundland when a hurricane struck, smashing boats and killing about 4,000 people. One of the worst tornadoes ever to hit Canada formed just south of Regina on June 30, 1912. The high-speed funnel-shaped storm destroyed farms and ripped through houses, stores and the city’s rail yards, leaving other structures untouched. Known as the Regina Cyclone, it killed 28 people and left 2,500 without homes, but most of the buildings lost were soon rebuilt. Hurricane Hazel had already caused death and destruction in the Caribbean before it hit Toronto on Oct. 15, 1954. It was supposed to weaken and pass by, but instead it poured three days’ worth of rain onto a city whose ground was already soaked. Rivers and streams swelled and overflowed, washing away cars, furniture, people and whole houses as well as roads and bridges, while fierce winds blew at more than 120 kilometres per hour. People climbed onto their roofs hoping to save themselves from the icy, swirling water. By the next day, Hurricane Hazel had moved on, leaving at least 81 people dead.
Homes destroyed by the Regina Cyclone in 1912.