June 1, 2012 / 7:41 PM / 7 years ago

Flood cripples Toronto subway ahead of rush hour

TORONTO, June 1 (Reuters) - Heavy rains in Toronto shut down part of the city’s subway system on Friday, threatening to cripple transportation out of Canada’s main financial district ahead of the evening commute.

Water cascaded down stairwells in Toronto’s Union Station, a transportation hub that links the city’s subway and streetcar lines to inter-city trains and buses, after heavy rain caused storm sewers to back up.

The flood led Toronto’s transit authority to shut down Union Station and six other stations along the city’s main downtown subway line around midday on Friday.

Some 30,000 people use the Union Station subway stop during the evening rush hour each day, the Toronto Transit Commission said. Subway service in Toronto’s core financial district is not expected to resume until later in the evening.

Parts of Toronto’s underground Path system, a 28-kilometre (17 mile) network of pedestrian tunnels beneath the city, were also closed because of the flooding.

Environment Canada was calling for some 20 to 45 millimeters of rain in Toronto on Friday, just days after parts of Montreal were flooded when some 50 and 75 millimetres of rain fell within a half-hour period.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, with some 6.1 million people living in the greater metropolitan area, according to 2011 census data.

Commuter trains and inter-city train service was not affected by the flooding, Go Transit and Via Rail said. (Reporting by Julie Gordon; editing by M.D. Golan)

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