List of Canadian tornadoes and tornado outbreaks

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Canada's only confirmed F5 tornado, near Elie, Manitoba, 2007.

This page lists tornadoes and tornado outbreaks which have touched down in Canada prior to the 21st century. On average, there are around 80 confirmed and unconfirmed tornadoes that touch down in Canada each year, with most occurring in Southern Ontario, the southern Canadian Prairies and southern Quebec. Canada ranks as the second country in the world with the most tornadoes per year, after the US. The most common types are F0 to F2 in damage intensity level and usually result in minor structural damage to barns, wood fences, roof shingles, chimneys, uprooted or snapped tree limbs and downed power lines. Fewer than 5% of tornadoes in Canada are rated F3 or higher in intensity, where wind speeds are in excess of 225 km/h (140 mph). Prior to April 1, 2013, Canada used a slightly modified Fujita scale, and as of that date the Enhanced Fujita scale, again slightly modified, was put into use to rate tornado intensity, based on the damage to buildings and vegetation.[1]

Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan all average 15 tornadoes per season, followed by Quebec with fewer than 10. New Brunswick and the British Columbia Interior are also recognized tornado zones. All other provinces and territories have significantly less threat from tornadoes. The peak season in Canada is in the summer months when clashing air masses move north, as opposed to the spring season in the United States southern-central plains, although tornadoes in Canada have occurred in spring, fall and very rarely winter.

The reported increase in numbers of tornadoes in recent years may reflect more reporting by citizens and media involvement rather than an actual increase in tornado occurrence (although some natural increase has not been ruled out), in addition to better detection technology i.e. Doppler weather radar and satellite imagery. The upswing could also be attributed to other factors, such as improved aerial and ground damage assessment after the fact in sparsely populated areas (particularly the case in remote parts of the Canadian Prairies and Northern Ontario, for example), better trained spotter capabilities and increased use of digital recording devices by citizens. Tornadoes in Canada are enough of a threat for a public warning system to be in place, overseen by the national weather agency, Environment Canada (EC).

For a variety of reasons, such as Canada's lower population density and generally stronger housing construction due to the colder climate, Canadian tornadoes have historically caused far fewer fatalities than tornadoes in the United States. The deadliest tornado in Canadian history, the Regina Cyclone of June 30, 1912, does not even rank in the top 25 when compared to American tornado fatalities. Urban centres are not immune from the threat of severe tornadoes. Nine medium to large size Canadian cities have been hit by significant strength tornadoes (F3 or higher), which caused large-scale damage and fatalities: Regina (1912); Windsor (1946 and 1974); Sarnia (1953); Sudbury (1970); Woodstock (1979); London (1984); Barrie (1985); Edmonton (1987) and Goderich (2011) All figures for damages are in Canadian dollars.

Before 1880[edit]


  • June 30 - the first recorded tornado in Canadian history affected the Niagara Peninsula between Fonthill and Port Robinson, Ontario. It levelled houses and uprooted many trees. In fact, the tornado cut a path of trees in a west to east line from both communities that became known as "Hurricane Road", which still exists today.[2]


  • April 18 - an area between Collingwood and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, were affected by tornadoes, one of which lifted a saloon up into the air.
  • June 2 - the early settlement of Guelph, Ontario is destroyed by a strong tornado. Re-settlement does not begin for a few years afterwards.
  • August 7 - first known and confirmed tornado death in Canada happened in Galt, Ontario which is now Cambridge.


  • May 19 - homes, fences and trees were demolished by a 500 m (1,600 ft) wide tornado near Aurora, Ontario. Hailstones up to 8 cm (3.1 in) in diameter also fell.


  • July 16 - a tornado touched down in Montreal, Quebec. It only lasted five minutes and destroyed everything in its path. There was one unconfirmed death.[3]




  • June 10 - a 200 m (660 ft) wide tornado in Listowel, Ontario lifts a man up into the air. He grabs on to a bridge to save himself.


  • May 15 - a suspected F4 tornado hits Elora, Ontario. It was 500 m (1,600 ft) wide and destroyed barns, fences and stables. It also damaged a church and cemetery in Mapleton, Ontario.





  • June 14 - a tornado hits Sainte-Rose, Quebec. Listed as the ninth deadliest tornado in Canadian history, six people die and twenty-six are injured.
  • June 29 - a tornado touched down in London, Ontario, destroying barns and orchards.




  • July 16 - an F3 tornado strikes near the settlement of Golden Valley, Saskatchewan, injuring four.



  • June 30 - Canada's deadliest twister hits Regina, Saskatchewan. Known as the Regina Cyclone, it was an F4 tornado that devastated the city. More than 300 people are injured and 28 people killed. The total cost of damage was estimated to be around $4.5 million.


  • June 25 - a tornado struck near Medicine Hat, Alberta. The business section of Redcliff was also severely damaged, and a freight train was blown off the tracks. The storm took two lives and injured many others.[6]


  • No date - a tornado touched down near Vermilion, Alberta, destroying a log house. Three children were killed, and one woman was carried 27 m (30 yd).[7]







  • June 18 - a tornado picked up a house in Elfros, Saskatchewan, killing one person. The damage path lasted for 11 km (6.8 mi).
  • July 7 - a strong tornado struck Vulcan, Alberta, causing significant damage in the town and surrounding area. A curling rink was destroyed, along with a dairy farm and a granary. Luckily there were no injuries.




  • July 6 - a tornado destroyed buildings and tossed farm equipment near Lavoy, Alberta, about 100 km (62 mi) east of Edmonton.[11]




  • July 1 - two tornadoes strike Lebret, Saskatchewan, killing four people.
  • August 9 - locally known as the "Kamsack Cyclone", a tornado touches down in Kamsack, Saskatchewan, destroying 400 homes and 100 businesses. Three people were killed and many more injured.[12]



  • March 19 - a tornado strikes the Windsor, Ontario area. This is the earliest tornado in the year for the province until 2016.


  • July 19 - the small village of Chénéville, Quebec was devastated by a tornado which lasted about three minutes.








  • June 6 - a tornado destroyed a garage in La Salle, Manitoba, yet the car inside the garage was not damaged. The tornado could be seen 15 km (9.3 mi) away in Winnipeg.



  • July 1 - a small tornado is observed near Vancouver, British Columbia. It's the third tornado recorded since the weather office opened in 1929.


  • June 29 - a large tornado touched down near Spy Hill, Saskatchewan, 260 km (160 mi) northwest of Regina, destroying multiple houses and damaging property. One man was killed when he was sucked out of his house. The tornado travelled 6.4 km (4 mi), and left a 1.6 km (1 mi) wide path of destruction.[16]


  • March 7 - an unconfirmed tornado touched down in Ucluelet, British Columbia, causing significant damage. The tornado drove a metal spike through a classroom window into a blackboard.
  • June 10 - a small tornado touched down near Nanton, Alberta, tearing trees and narrowly missing ranch buildings.[17]


  • April 17 - a total of four tornadoes, two being F3 in strength, touched down in Southwestern Ontario, causing at least $8.2 million in damage. The first tracked through Huron and Perth counties, flattening barns and homes, and snapping multiple trees and utility poles. The second F3 tracked from St. Jacobs to northwest of Guelph. Two F0 tornadoes were also confirmed and one person was killed.[18][19]




  • August 20 - an early morning the F3 tornado, touches down near Sudbury, Ontario, causing extensive damage in the city, as well as in the suburban communities of Lively and Copper Cliff and the more distant rural community of Field. Lively was the hardest hit, with over 300 homes damaged. The communities were given little warning of bad weather approaching, as the Sudbury Airport did not have radar that detected tornado activity. Over 200 people were injured and 6 were killed. The damage was estimated at $17 million, and it is listed as the eighth deadliest tornado in Canadian history.[20]


  • July 22 - a tornado near Algonquin Provincial Park left a 25 km (16 mi) path destroying a portage trail and wide swaths of red pine forest and other trees south of Lake Lavieille.
  • July 28 - a tornado tore through farmland near Bawlf, Alberta, destroying a two-storey house and several farm buildings. Two people were injured and 1 person was injured and died later from the injuries.[21]



  • April 3 - Windsor, Ontario is hit with an F3 tornado, part of the 1974 Super Outbreak. Total deaths were nine and over twenty people were injured with an estimated $500,000 in damage. It is listed as the sixth deadliest tornado in Canadian history.[23]


  • July 24 - a strong tornado hit Saint-Bonaventure, Quebec, approximately 80 km (50 mi) northeast of Montreal, destroying over 100 homes and businesses. Three people were killed, and over forty people were hospitalized.[24]


  • July 18 - an F4 tornado touched down near St. Malo, Manitoba, destroying houses and barns. Asphalt was peeled off Highway 59 as a result of the strong winds. Three people were killed.[25]


  • June 27 - an F2 tore through the city of Masson-Angers, Quebec, (today part of Gatineau), damaging 100 homes and injuring 35 people.
  • July 30 - an F2 tornado touches down near Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, toppling a tower and then destroying a transmission tower near Rae-Edzo. Some witnesses say that they saw a huge 1.6 km (1 mi) wide wedge coming into town from the west. The tornado caused severe damage to weakly built houses. It was the third recorded tornado in the region since 1960.[26]


  • July 10 - a tornado stuck the town of Glasnevin, Saskatchewan, killing one person.[27]
  • August 7 - three tornadoes strike near the Woodstock, Ontario area, causing more than $100 million in damage. The biggest were two F4 tornadoes; one starting in Woodstock and travelling southeast for 57 km (35 mi), the other starting in the south of Stratford, tearing a path southeast for 31 km (19 mi). An F0 satellite tornado accompanied the Woodstock tornado for up to 21 km (13 mi). The storms killed 2 and injured more than 150, while 480 houses were left uninhabitable.
  • August 8 - a tornado touched down in Regina, Saskatchewan, causing damage in the northwest end of the city. Two tornadoes were spotted that day, with one reaching F2 status, but is unconfirmed.[28]



1980 Confirmed Tornadoes
9 12 4 24 2 1 2 2
1980 Tornado Strengths
F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
36 16 4 0 0 0


1981 Confirmed Tornadoes
0 7 13 4 16 0 1
1981 Tornado Strengths
F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
31 8 2 0 0 0


1982 Confirmed Tornadoes
30 15 8 12 1 1 1
1982 Tornado Strengths
F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
42 23 2 1 0 0


  • Walpole Island saw an F2 tornado, it injured one person and it lasted 15 km (9.3 mi) on ground and causing C$1 million in damages.[29][32]
  • Reece's Corners was the strongest tornado rated an F4, 13 people where injured and many more left homeless. The F4 tornado was on the ground for 30 km (19 mi), and was up to 400 m (1,300 ft) in width, damages were C$20.0 million,[29] with 15 to 25 buildings destroyed. Winds topped out near 400 km/h (250 mph).[32]
  • Kettleby was hit with an F2 tornado, that lasted 10.5 km (6.5 mi) on the ground, no major damage or injuries were reported.[29][32]
  • Rexdale a informally-defined district of Toronto, saw three F0. They lasted on the ground from 5.87 to 9.93 km (3.65 to 6.17 mi). One of the tornadoes caused C$1.2 million in damages, no injuries were reported.[29]



  • May 20 - an F0 tornado touched down near St Raphael de Bellechasse, Quebec.
  • May 31 - an F4 tornado hits Barrie, Ontario, becoming known as the "Barrie" Tornado Outbreak of 1985. It was part of the bigger 1985 United States–Canada tornado outbreak. There were 13 confirmed tornado touchdowns in the province. Twelve people were killed, eight in Barrie alone, and hundreds injured. The tornado destroyed more than 300 buildings, and damaged another 100, leaving 800 homeless. The cost was estimated at over $100 million. Another four people were killed by a tornado that struck close to Grand Valley, Orangeville and Tottenham. That tornado had a touchdown path length of over 100 km (62 mi). Another confirmed F0 tornado hit the Leamington area, as part outbreak.
  • June 18 - an F3 tornado is confirmed in the town of Saint-Sylvère, Quebec.
  • July 6 - an F1 tornado hits the communities of Lacolle and Hemmingford, Quebec (village).
  • July 7 - an F1 tornado hit the Meadowvale area of Mississauga, Ontario injuring 10 and causing $400,000 damage.
  • September 7 - a tornado touched down near Big Rideau Lake, Ontario. The storm killed one person when it overturned a houseboat cruising on the lake.[35]
  • October 4, a weak tornado touched down in Wheatley, Ontario.


  • June 1 - three tornadoes touched down in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. There was no official ratings given for the tornadoes, although some damage indicated F3 strength winds. Roofs were thrown off houses and a warehouse was destroyed. No one was injured, and damage was estimated at over $1 million.
  • June 16 - severe storms produced an F3 tornado that travelled from Brady Lake to Maynooth, Ontario. Two other tornadoes were also reported.[36]
  • June 16 - an F3 tornado was confirmed near Lac Gareau, Quebec. It severely damaged summer chalets and overturned a truck. Two other tornadoes were reported further east. This was from the same weather system that affected Ontario earlier in the day.[36]
  • June 18 - two tornadoes touched down near High Prairie, Alberta, tossing farm equipment and tearing the roof off a house.[37]
  • June 24 - a tornado touched down in Tingwick, Quebec, damaging 12 properties.[38]
  • June 30 - one tornado touched down near Stirling, Alberta near Lethbridge, and another tore through Cayley, 60 km (37 mi) south of Calgary. The tornadoes destroyed a storage shed, tossed a van across the yard, and hurled a large horse against a barbed wire fence. No injuries were reported.[39]
  • July 9 - three tornadoes briefly touched down throughout Central Alberta. Two were spotted near Penhold and one reported south of Sylvan Lake.[40]
  • July 15 - one person was killed from an F0 tornado near Maniwaki, Quebec.
  • July 29 - four tornadoes touched down in central Saskatchewan, causing minimal damage.[36]




  • June 19 - eight tornadoes touch down over central Saskatchewan, with winds gusting up to 130 km/h (81 mph). Hail shredded crops near Blaine Lake.
  • July 27 - a series of severe thunderstorms spawned an F1 tornado in the west end of Edmonton, Alberta.[29][46] The tornado injured two people, and damaged buildings and uprooted trees and power lines. It caused $500,000 in damages.[29][47]
  • August 14 - three tornadoes touch down in the province of New Brunswick. One of the tornadoes hits the town of Carlisle where trees are uprooted and a barn is destroyed. Amazingly 22 out of 24 glass storm windows stored inside the barn are left undamaged.
  • November 16 - an F2 tornado causes $2 million in damage in the community of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Quebec. This is the latest in the year a tornado is recorded in the province.




  • March 27 - an early season tornado strikes Sarnia, Ontario, causing over $25 million in damage.[49]
  • August 27 - an F3 tornado touched down in Mauricie region. The town of Maskinongé was hardest hit among three communities, with 60% of buildings damaged. Fifteen people were injured and estimated damage cost upwards of $25 million.[50]


  • June 24 - tornadoes, large hail and torrential downpours affected southern Manitoba. Tennis ball sized hail fell near Morden and winds gusting to 154 km/h (96 mph) were recorded at Pilot Mound. There were also five confirmed tornado touchdowns and numerous funnel clouds in Manitoba that day, including some very crisp video footage of one rope tornado tearing up farmland near Portage la Prairie. The region had been affected by severe weather the day before as well.


  • July 29 - a series of violent thunderstorms tracked across Central Alberta, spawning three tornadoes. The strongest of which was an F3 in Holden, 90 km (56 mi) east of Edmonton. An F0 touched down in near Falun, east of Pigeon Lake and an F1 tornado was reported 60 km (37 mi) northeast of Lac La Biche.


  • July 9 - one person was killed when an F2 tore through the town of Saint-Charles-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. Three other people were injured, about a dozen homes were damaged.
  • August 4 - an F3 tornado touches down in Aylmer, Quebec across the river from Ottawa, injures 15 people. The tornado path was 8 km (5.0 mi) long and caused major damage to a downtown residential subdivision including homes destroyed. A second tornado had previously touched down just across the Ottawa River in Carp. In Quebec, other tornadoes touched down near Laurel and Rawdon[51]
  • August 27 - F4 tornado hits rural farmland near Turtle Mountain, Manitoba. Devastation especially visible at Mayfair Hutterite Colony, well over $1 million in damage. There were no injuries or deaths.


  • June 20 - thunderstorms rumbled for 7 hours over Manitoba producing 90 km/h (56 mph) winds which blew trees and power lines over. The storm even produced a weak tornado.
  • July 15 - a large progressive derecho thunderstorm produced severe winds over an expansive area of the central Great Lakes and New England overnight also contained at least six tornadoes that hit Central Ontario, most centred or to the north of the Kawartha Lakes. The strongest was an F2 tornado that destroyed a marina at Bridgenorth and overturned a houseboat on Lake Chemong, trapping 20 occupants for a few hours until they were rescued, just north of Peterborough. One person was killed in Bridgenorth.
  • July 26 - a tornado in Fredericton, New Brunswick took the roof off a government building and damaged a tennis court dome.
  • August 14 - a tornado touches down near Barrie, Ontario.
  • August 29 - several farms were destroyed when a tornado lasting a couple of minutes affected Spring Valley, Saskatchewan, near Moose Jaw.


  • April 20 - Multiple tornadoes hit Grey, Wellington and Dufferin counties. Two F3 class tornadoes touched down in Grey County (Williamsford), Wellington County and Dufferin County. Significant property damage occurred; nine people were injured by the two tornadoes.
  • May 20 - a strong thunderstorm damages one of the four screens of a drive-in theatre at Thorold, Ontario in the Niagara Region. Coincidentally, this drive-in was planning to show the movie Twister that evening. Eyewitnesses report seeing a small funnel cloud, but the physical evidence is inconclusive. Distorted and exaggerated media reports of this event abound; most claimed that the storm blew down the screen while Twister was being shown on it. The storm actually took place before sundown. However, a small tornado did touch down in Stoney Creek that same evening.
  • July 4 - an estimated nine tornadoes touch down in the Saskatoon, Maymont and Osler, Saskatchewan areas in. An F3 was measured in the Maymont area destroying power lines. Homes and property were damaged in the Osler area. Wind gusts in Saskatoon reached 120 km/h (75 mph) and 141 km/h (88 mph) damaging many trees and properties on the east end of the city. A drive-in theatre and a nightclub on the eastern outskirts of the city were also heavily damaged and ironically the movie that was going to be shown at the drive-in that night was Twister.


  • June 24 - Lantz, Nova Scotia, F0 tornado touches down in local ball field at approximately 4:45 pm ADT (UTC−03:00). Golf ball sized hail and intense lightning also reported with this storm.
  • July 2 - Southeast Michigan tornado outbreak F1, F2, F3 Windsor and surrounding areas. See article for more in-depth information.
  • July 4 - an F2 Tornado touches down near Grand Falls, New Brunswick, roof torn off building. Farmers fields ripped up. The same line of storms also dropped an F2 Tornado in Matapédia (New Brunswick/Quebec border), where a couple of barns were destroyed.


  • June 2 - during a wider severe weather outbreak (derecho thunderstorm) that struck Southern Ontario in the mid-afternoon, an F1 tornado descended near Holbrook around 3:50 pm EDT (UTC−04:00) and travelled southeastward to Norwich, damaging many buildings, including a church. There were also tornado reports in Elmvale and Dunnville, and several reports of funnel clouds, hail, and high winds.
  • July 10 - an F2 tornado touched down in Charleston, New Brunswick, leaving a 90 m (300 ft) by 7 km (4.3 mi) path of damage. Total destruction of a mobile home which was thrown 30 m (98 ft). Minor injuries to residents in home.
  • July 19 - a weak tornado hit Daysland, Alberta, about 50 km (31 mi) east of Camrose. The tornado damaged power lines, knocking out power to surrounding communities.
  • August 11 - a small F1 tornado goes through part of Saint-Émile, Quebec City, in the suburbs of Quebec City, it overturns a shed, damages three and causes a citywide electricity loss when a garage is slammed into an electric pole.


  • May 8 - a tornado over Hull, Quebec caused $2M damage and tore roofs off buildings. Was caused by the same system that produced the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak between May 3 and May 8. It was also the second significant tornado in the Hull-Gatineau area in five years.
  • May 18 - three tornadoes touch down close to the western limits of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The supercell associated with the tornadoes pelted the city with quarter-sized hail, wind gusts of nearly 100 km/h (62 mph), and over 51 mm (2 in) of rain fell from the half-hour storm.
  • July 6 - Bois-Francs, Quebec region tornado. A tornado left 4,000 without power and 200 in need of temporary shelter in Berthierville, Yamaska and Drummondville. Some Environment Canada records show one person was killed in the event.[50]
  • August 4 - an F2 tornado with a twisting but narrow path causes damage in the rural north end of Burlington, Ontario, relocating a motorhome 2 km (1.2 mi) from where it was parked, the tornado track was over 10 km (6.2 mi) long.
  • August 18 - a small tornado strikes Pugwash, Nova Scotia, causing some localized structural damage. There were no serious injuries.


For tornadoes after 2000, see list of 21st-century Canadian tornadoes and tornado outbreaks


  • May 5 - an F0 tornado was confirmed near Hazzards Corners, Ontario, 8 km (5.0 mi) northeast of Madoc. It left a 10 km (6.2 mi) long path causing minor damage to a house and knocking over approximately 100 trees.[52]
  • May 9 - two anticyclonic tornadoes touched down in Southern Ontario, causing minor damage. The first was given an F0 rating, and occurred north of Amherstburg. Multiple trees were knocked over along a 7 km (4.3 mi) path. The second tornado, an F1, touched down in Malden Centre. It tore the roof from a storage shed, and knocked over a large shipping container along a 1 km (0.62 mi) path. No injuries were reported with either storm.[53]
  • May 23 - an F2 tornado touched down near Appin, Ontario, damaging a pig barn and killing several pigs. Multiple homes also sustained damage, and hydro poles were snapped. No injuries were reported.[52]
  • May 24 - a confirmed F1 tornado hits Gloucester, Ontario, a suburb within the city of Ottawa. It snapped trees, tore the roof off a house and ripped the canopy from a gas station.[54]
  • June 22 - an F0 tornado was confirmed near the town of Quyon, Quebec.[41]
  • July 14 - an F3 tornado strikes Green Acres Campground in Pine Lake, Alberta. Known as the Pine Lake tornado, it kills 12 people and causes over $13 million in damage. It is ranked as the fourth deadliest tornado in Canadian history.
  • July 17 - three tornadoes were confirmed in Ontario after several supercell thunderstorms developed over the province. An F2 tornado formed over the city of Guelph, lasting approximately 23 minutes and leaving a path of damage 13 km (8.1 mi) long. Damage was estimated at over $2 million and one minor injury was reported. The same storm also produced a second, unrated tornado near Waterdown.[55] The third tornado, an F1 occurred in Simcoe County, near the town of Melduf. It snapped and uprooted trees, and caused minor crop damage. An aluminum shed was destroyed.[56]
  • July 18 - an F0 tornado touched down near Saint-Jean-Chrysostome, Quebec[41]
  • July 23 - an F3 tornado touched down and destroyed one home and tossed farm equipment near Marwayne, Alberta, 35 km (22 mi) northwest of Lloydminster.[57]
  • July 26 - a tornado touches down briefly near Wabamun, Alberta, about 70 km (43 mi) west of Edmonton, causing minor damage.[58]
  • August 1 - a tornado struck Viking, Alberta.
  • August 6 - a tornado touched down near Elnora, Alberta, southeast of Pine Lake. The tornado occurred while people were gathering for a memorial service in Pine Lake for those who died in the Pine Lake tornado just a few weeks earlier.
  • August 9 - a tornado was confirmed near Sangudo, Alberta.
  • August 9 - an F1 tornado touched down near Tilbury, Ontario destroying a barn and causing heavy damage to two farm houses. No injuries were reported.[54]

See also[edit]


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  56. ^ Sills, David. "17 July 2000 - Storm Damage Survey". Retrieved February 9, 2017. 
  57. ^ "Rancher survives tornado". Retrieved February 9, 2017. 
  58. ^ "Alberta Emergency Management Agency : Basic Emergency Manageent Course" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-02-24. 

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