Tornados devastated my area last night... shaken up


PhD in shopping
Dec 27, 2008
This is just something for you guys: hoping I can share.

Before I begin... look around your home today and be thankful for what you have... hug your loved ones... hold your pet a little closer. Life can change in an instant.

I live in the northern Toronto suburb. Some fierce rain and storms came while I was leaving work around 5pm. My younger sister called and asked me to pick her up from her job. Since it was raining pretty hard (I could barely see in front of me) I told her to wait out the rain and I would pick her up around 6pm.

At 6pm I stood in my kitchen overlooking my backyard. The sky was very dark... and I looked up at the clouds to see them swirling around and thought to myself... wow it must be a bad storm... I've never seen that before. I spoke with my sister and decided to drive the 10 minutes away and pick her up from work. As I gathered my car keys and my purse my shih tzu joyfully ping ponged with me to the door wagging his tail. He likes to come on car trips with me, but for some reason I just decided against it.

I got in my car and drove to pick her up. After I picked her up I headed onto a main street that leads towards my subdivision. As I proceeded south and made a right and was heading westbound (less then 5 minutes from my home now) I noticed this huge billowing cloud of greyish smoke... I THOUGHT it was smoke... I looked at it closer again... it was HUGE and right over the residential area where I live. I screamed to my sister "OMG! It's a tornado!" (keep in mind there hasn't been a tornado in the greater toronto area since 1985... and I wasnt even born yet)

The first thing I thought of: where my friends were (a lot of them work downtown and it was only 6pm... okay I thought they aren't home), were my family was (we all live in the same area... although I still live with my parents they weren't home)... and then I cannot describe to you the most sickest feeling in the world. My 2 year old shih tzu... at home :crybaby:
(maybe a lot of you wouldn't understand... but if you have a pet it's like a PERSON... hes only 2 yrs old... he's my baby).

I felt completely sick as I tried to figure out exactly WHERE the tornado was... was my home in the path of destruction? Was it even still there? Nothing at all mattered to me at this point... none of belongings... just my poor dog. I scolded myself for not bringing him with me. My sister obviously felt the same because she burst into tears. My sister called my parents to tell them to stay put and told them about the situation. I called my dbf who was in complete disbelief... like I said these things DONT happen in my area. He told me to pull over and stay in the car but I reasoned that I was literally only 2 minutes away and I wanted to go be with my dog.

As I finally neared my home (now less then 2 minutes away on busy congested rush hour roads)... The huge tornado only got closer and it was moving sooo fast. I realized then that I must of had a few minutes to spare because the area around me wasn't windy at all. The tornado was directly in front of me now (looking west).

We got home safely as I so much of the funnel break apart. I walked in to my shih tzu wagging his tail at my door. We turned on the news and there was NOTHING on the news... do you believe that? I get that these things are unexpected and don't happen very often around here: yet shouldn't we always be prepared for an emergency? I know you guys down in the states have sirens and messages that flash on local tv stations.

At this point I was just worried because I wasn't sure where the tornado had hit. It was 100% in my neighbourhood. The news finally reported 30 minutes later of funnel cloud "sightings" in the "Toronto Airport Area" (which in no way is MY area.. completely misinformed!). A Tornado warning was issued; and that was that. I kept getting up and looking out the window.

I heard this loud roar and went to the window again; it was like my house was in a cloud of bilowing smoke just swirling around and around. Another funnel cloud was forming directly above my home!

I yelled at my sister to come downstairs... had my dog in one arm and my purse in the other (just bc thats where I had my cell phone and phone charger, car keys, money, id and my medication). We went down to the cellar and sat on the floor with a blanket my sister brought. We have a tiny window where we could see and hear the trees howel. It was really scary. I couldn't call my parents or my boyfriend because the network was busy.

We immerged about 20 minutes later when the wind stopped. Everything was fine after then. The sun came out within an hour. We had power (unlike some neighbours only minutes away). The news reported damaged homes only minutes away to the west of us... and now minutes away to the north of us (where dbf lives).

Dbf's area was directly hit by the tornado. I could not get through to him for over an hour. He just got power back this morning. Only 2 blocks away from him entire streets are devestated. He was really lucky. He had fallen asleep after work in his basement, had heard the winds but owed it up to a "bad storm" (like I said... TORNADOS do NOT EVER happen here!)

I went out later and saw both areas to the west and north of me. Homes completely demolished, people crying on the streets, shingles everywhere, trees down, cars turned over, broken windows, flooded puddles of water and roofs missing. The first tornado that hit the area west of me is where a lot of older residents live, it hurt me to see them crying in the streets. My bofriend was VERY lucky... he was yards away from destruction. It could of been him, it could of been me.

I can't stop thinking about yesterday. My life has changed forever. Maybe I'm overexagerating... but truly it's given me a new appreciation on life.


Jun 4, 2007
I'm sorry that you had to experience something like that. I myself have never had a tornado effect me personally, but when i'm from tornados are VERY common and I find myself EXTREMELY lucky that ive never had to go through it. When I was younger we had the occassional late night trips down to the basement because of sirens... and i used to be SO scared of being at home when i was younger alone when storms would hit. It used to be one of the things i feared the most.

we've had many horrible tornados in my state with many towns completely ruined and i feel for each and every person that has to go something like that.

I really can't imagine what it must feel like to actually see one be near where you live and to have that absolutely heart stopping feeling that your pet is at home helpless. I would be the same way. Everytime i go on a weekend trip out of town I worry about my pets at home! But I am so happy for you that you got home and he was safe and you were able to protect him if something were to happen.

Hopefully your area will try to come up with some sort of system of warning just in case this ever happens again.


Feb 12, 2009
0 and your family and your dbf and your dog are not lucky... you are truly BLESSED... I am glad you are safe and fine and that you appreciate life more now. That is what some experiences do to us.


just. can't. stop.
May 6, 2008
Portland, OR
... I grew up in Thornhill and was absolutely shocked to hear about the tornadoes last night...

I'm glad you and your home are ok... my thoughts are with all those who weren't so lucky.

Life is so precious.


Aug 5, 2006
I'm glad to here that you're okay. I was watching the storm from my friends apartment but we're in Toronto and you could just feel that somewhere there was a tornado because of the insane winds and the way the rain was just blowing.

Once the storm phased out we had a double rainbow in the sky.


Feb 1, 2008
MissLianne, I am so glad you are safe but sad for others who lost their homes and the young boy who was killed. I am in BC, we were all watching the news last night and could hardly believe it. Tornados in Ontario? It seemed impossible.....


PhD in shopping
Dec 27, 2008
Thank you everyone for the sweet replies...

It was quite a shock- and except for property damage there was only one fatality.

Mother nature is scary and unpredictable. I will never look at a thunderstorm the same way from now on.


Apr 30, 2009
Thank you for the reminder. I need to remind myself that.
Thank goodness you, bf, family, and dog are okay.


Apr 26, 2007
One of my friends lives in Minnesota, and they just had a tornado maybe 2 days ago? She was writing on Facebook how the houses next door and across the street from her were totally demolished, but her house was untouched. I can't even imagine!! I'm so glad you got your dog and your family to safety, and I can't believe you actually saw the tornado with your own eyes! You certainly had a guardian angel on your shoulder, just as my friend did:smile: